Problem Solvers Caucus takes aim at skyrocketing medication costs

Washington D.C. Bureau

WASHINGTON (NEXSTAR) — With prescription drug prices on the rise, members of the bipartisan Problem Solvers Caucus say they’re committed to finding a solution.

Its co-chair, Congressman Tom Reed, R-New York, says the group has a plan to try and drive costs down.

“It’s about transparency,” he said. “We can hold the companies accountable for how they set these prices and then do our best to bring market into the equation so that the prices go down.”

The lawmakers recently laid out principles they believe should be adopted and included in legislation to lower the price of prescription drugs.

Reed says they want to establish price transparency standards for patients and providers, and they want drug manufacturers to disclose the price of treatment as well as allow the release of more generic drugs.

“Deal with the abuses of patent reform where companies are taking advantage of the patent laws to prevent drugs from coming on to the market,” Reed explained.

“Transparency is a really good first step to try and get the information we need to figure out if whether drug prices are justified,” said Leigh Purvis of the American Association of Retired Persons (AARP).

Purvis, the AARP’s director of health services research, says she believes drug companies are taking advantage of patients.

“Drug companies are out there saying it costs $2.6 billion to get a drug to market, but the reality is we have absolutely no way to verify that and that is what they’re using to justify their prices,” Purvis said.

“The prices here in the United States are just too high,” she added.

The AARP says they’re encouraged by the principles but a lot more must be done by Congress to bring down the cost of drugs.

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