U.S. Senator Claire McCaskill, who has led the fight in Congress for lower prescription drug prices, issued the following statement on President Donald Trump's drug pricing announcement today:
"I agree with the President that prescription drug prices are too high, and that we need all hands on deck in our effort to bring down costs. It's unconscionable to me that Medicare is prohibited from negotiating bulk discounts on drugs, and that taxpayers are subsidizing prescription drug ads flooding our TVs. I've long fought to end Big Pharma's vise-grip on Washington--including passing bipartisan laws to end pharmacy gag clauses and increase competition for generic drugs--and look forward to working with the President in this continued fight."
McCaskill has made reducing the price of prescription drugs a top priority in the Senate. Working across the aisle, McCaskill helped pass several bipartisan proposals into law to help lower costs for Missourians, including endingpharmacy gag clauses, allowing the sale of certain types of hearing aids over the counter, and to increase competition for generic drugs and help lower prescription costs. Additionally, McCaskill introduced legislation earlier this year to end taxpayer subsidies pharmaceutical companies receive for the billions of dollars they spend on prescription drug advertising each year, which currently is fully tax-deductible.
As part of her years-long effort to investigate dramatic prescription drug price increases, McCaskill released reports this year which showed that drug prices directly negotiated by the government could save the Medicare Part D program $2.8 billion in a single year on the 20 most commonly prescribed brand-name drugs alone, and that the prices of many of the most popular brand-name drugs increased at nearly ten times the cost of inflation from 2012 to 2017.