Brown, colleagues urge Department of Health and Human Services to lower drug prices
Published 12:00 am Saturday, July 2, 2022
Senators say agency has the authority to act on critical pricing
WASHINGTON, D.C. — U.S. Senator Sherrod Brown, D-Ohio, joined more than 100 of his Senate and House colleagues in urging U.S. Health and Human Services Sec. Xavier Becerra to swiftly act and use his existing authorities to lower prices on critical prescription drugs.
Brown, along with U.S. Sens. Elizabeth Warren, D-Massachusetts, and Angus King, I-Maine, as well as U.S. Reps. Lloyd Doggett, D-Texas, Joaquin Castro, D-Texas, Sara Jacobs, D-California, Katie Porter, D-California, wrote to Becerra, urging him to swiftly act and use his existing authorities to lower prices on critical prescription drugs.
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“High U.S. medicine prices are the result of prescription drug corporations using their monopoly power to hike prices and pad their bottom lines. To provide the urgent relief that Americans demand, including patients who would not initially benefit from Medicare drug price negotiations, you must simultaneously use the executive tools readily at your disposal,” wrote the lawmakers. “You have the power to take on the monopoly abuses of the pharmaceutical industry and the responsibility to ensure Americans have affordable access to the medicines they need.”
The administration has two longstanding statutory authorities to waive patent monopolies and assure reasonable drug prices, including taxpayer protection authority under the Bayh-Dole Act and broad competitive licensing authority under Section 1498. Requesting that the Secretary act as soon as possible, the lawmakers wrote: “You can provide immediate relief for millions of patients from Big Pharma’s price gouging and show millions more Americans that you, President Biden, and his administration are on their side.”