Lawmakers Urge HHS To Address Rising Generic Rx Drug Costs
On Thursday, Rep. Elijah Cummings (D-Md.) and Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.) sent a letter to HHS Secretary Sylvia Mathews Burwell urging the Obama administration to address the rising costs of generic prescription drugs, The Hill's "Floor Action" reports.
Cummings and Sanders previously have sent letters to drugmakers asking why the prices of some generics increased, and there could be congressional hearings on the issue.
In the letter to HHS, Cummings and Sanders wrote that the "federal government must act immediately and aggressively to address the increasing costs of these drugs." The lawmakers included examples of rising generic costs, such as an asthma treatment that increased from $11 to $424 in one year. They noted that the increases affect both consumers and the federal government, particularly budgets for the Department of Defense, Department of Veterans Affairs, Medicaid and Medicare (Cox, "Floor Action," The Hill, 10/17).
In addition, they wrote that pharmacists report some patients are refusing to fill their prescriptions as a result of the price increases.
The lawmakers asked Burwell to provide "the analysis of the National Average Drug Acquisition Cost data" kept by CMS and to detail the "steps the department is currently taking to address" the issue (Cummings/Sanders letter, 10/16).This is part of the California Healthline Daily Edition, a summary of health policy coverage from major news organizations. Sign up for an email subscription.