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Health & Science

Senator Sherrod Brown wants a New Law Regarding Prescription Prices

Senator Sherrod Brown
Tim Rudell

Ohio’s Sherrod Brown and fellow Democrat Kirsten Gillibrand of New York are introducing a bill in the U.S. Senate aimed at blunting sharp rises in drug prices. 

Senator Brown says keeping the costs of all medications affordable is the goal, but especially for common and widely needed drugs like insulin.  The bills calls for pharmaceutical companies to report price increases, and then justify them. “Many of these companies are not investing in something new and innovative.  They’re simply buying the rights to existing drugs from other companies. Then the lay off workers, and they hike prices by eight fold or nine fold, or tenfold.”

Brown calls that price gouging and the bill spells out penalties for drug companies found guilty of it.  “You should pay a fine proportional to the price hike.  Any revenues collected through the bill would be invested in future drug research and development through the National Institutes of Health.”

Credit NPR

Brown cited broadly publicized price increases for epipens as examples of where scrutiny is needed.