SEN. GRASSLEY: Holding Big Pharma accountable has historically been a bipartisan effort, delivering new reforms to fight price hikes should be no different

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I hear about the rising cost of prescription drugs at nearly every one of my town hall meetings.

 

Three years ago, I began a bipartisan effort to lower prescription drug costs.

 

Following Finance Committee hearings, a mark-up and bipartisan negotiations, Senator Wyden and I introduced the Prescription Drug Pricing Reduction Act.

 

The bill caps yearly out-of-pocket drug costs for seniors at $3,100. It prevents drug costs from growing faster than consumer price index. It ends uncapped taxpayer-funded subsidies to Big Pharma. It creates more sunshine, competition and oversight into the world of drug prices. It brings meaningful reform while driving down costs. $72 billion in savings for seniors and $95 billion in savings for taxpayers.

 

An important goal we accomplished in our bill – lowering drug costs without hurting innovation. We did this by keeping government out of the business of setting prices. Democrats have proposed the irresponsible idea of government dictating drug prices.

 

They would do this by getting rid of the non-interference clause. Better known as so-called “drug price negotiations.”

 

It’s not “negotiating”, it’s “dictating”!

 

Eighteen years ago, I was a principal architect of the Medicare Part D program. Adding a prescription drug benefit for seniors was the right thing to do. But it needed to be done in the right way – for patients.

 

In creating Part D, we enacted a key policy: keeping government out of the business of dictating drug prices.

 

Governments don’t negotiate, they dictate.

 

Competition is the only thing that drives innovation, curbs costs, expands coverage and improves outcomes.

 

The Congressional Budget Office has consistently stated: Government negotiations of drug prices would not achieve greater savings than the current market-based system.

 

Unless you restrict the formulary or dictate the price through reference pricing based on what socialist health care systems pay.

 

Democrats propose so called “drug price negotiations” in their reckless tax and spending spree to save hundreds of billions dollars.

 

That’s the outcome. The government gets between you and your doctor’s prescribing.

 

Who is hurt by this policy? Patients!

 

The Democrats would have government dictate drug prices based on an international reference pricing index.

 

Study after study has shown, so-called “drug price negotiations” will reduce the number of new drugs produced.

 

What your doctor wants to prescribe for you might not be on the formulary.

 

This policy would be devastating if one of those drugs was the cure for Alzheimer’s disease, diabetes or cancer.

 

I don’t believe that is what Americans want.

 

While Democrats attempt to advance their partisan drug pricing scheme, I hope common sense will prevail and we pass a bipartisan prescription drug bill.

 

I have engaged with colleagues on both sides of the aisle. So, common sense will prevail.

 

All of the Republicans and Democrats I’ve contacted have expressed eagerness to find a solution to meaningfully lower prescription drug costs.

 

Holding Big Pharma accountable has historically been a bipartisan effort.

 

Delivering new reforms to fight price hikes should be no different.

 

Democrats should stop pursuing their reckless tax and spending spree that will hurt innovation and produce less cures.

 

Instead, we should act by passing my bipartisan prescription drug bill.