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Why It’s So Difficult to Reduce Drug Prices

August 28, 2019 / MARK TERRY

Partly because it’s an election year and partly because, well, drugs can be expensive, the topic of drug pricing is a hot-button issue. Earlier this year, in February, seven pharmaceutical executives were grilled by the U.S. Senate Finance Committee over drug pricing. The tone was set by U.S. Senator Chuck Grassley (R-Iowa), who chairs the committee. Early on he stated, “We cannot allow anyone to hide behind the current complexities to shield the true costs of drugs. And we shouldn’t turn a blind eye to industry’s practices that distort laws and regulations designed to promote competition and generic drug entries into the marketplace.” These tactics include withholding samples, pay-for-delay, product hopping and rebate bundling.