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House Democrats find drug companies unjustified in price hikes

house-democrats-find-drug-companies-unjustified-in-price-hikes

House Democrats find drug companies unjustified in price hikes

Washington, Dec 10 (Prensa Latina) Drug companies are deliberately targeting the U.S. to raise prices and game the patent system to delay generic competition in a way that is "unsustainable, unjustified, and unfair to patients and taxpayers," according to the findings from a new investigation released Friday by House Democrats. The investigation focused on 10 companies that sell 12 of the most expensive drugs to Medicare, including insulin, and found those companies collectively raised prices more than 250 times.
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The 269-page report from the staff of the House Oversight and Reform Committee is the culmination of a three-year investigation started by the late Rep. Elijah Cummings (D-Md.), who was the committee’s chairman until his death in 2019. Staff said they reviewed more than 1.5 million pages of documents — including internal strategy documents, communications among top executives, board materials and nonpublic pricing data.

Debra DeShong, executive vice president for public affairs at the industry trade group PhRMA, called the report “misleading” and said it “fails to address abusive practices by insurance companies and middlemen who profit off a broken system while patients can’t afford their medicines.”

With the results, lawmakers seek to strongly reject claims by the pharmaceutical industry that higher prices are necessary to fund research and development of new products.

In addition, Democrats intend to use the investigation as a pretext for the Senate to pass the social spending bill that has been already passed by the Lower House and would allow Medicare health insurance program to negotiate the values of some drugs. If this package, worth $1.75 trillion, is approved, spending on insulin would be limited to $35 per month, and what Medicare can charge a person for drugs is top $2,000 per year.

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