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Lawmakers push for action on drug costs

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Lawmakers reintroduced this week the Fair Accountability and Innovative Research (FAIR) Drug Pricing Act, which seeks to boost cost transparency for medication price increases.

Lawmakers reintroduced this week the Fair Accountability and Innovative Research (FAIR) Drug Pricing Act, which seeks to boost cost transparency for medication price increases. Under the act, drug companies would have to notify HHS and submit a transparency and justification report 30 days before increasing the price of certain drugs that cost at least $100 by more than 10% in 1 year or 25% in 3 years. "Far too many Americans have been unfairly burdened by the rising costs of prescription medication. The American people should not be forced to choose between filling a prescription and making their monthly mortgage payment," said Sen. John McCain (R-AZ). "This legislation would bring much-needed transparency to prescription drug prices—a policy that eight in 10 Americans support, according to the Kaiser Family Foundation." Manufacturers would not be prohibited from increasing prices under the legislation; however, it would give consumers notice of price hikes and bring "basic transparency" to the prescription drug arena, the legislators said. The act was reintroduced by McCain, Sen. Tammy Baldwin (D-WI), and Rep. Jan Schakowsky (D-IL). Separately, McCain and Sens. Amy Klobuchar (D-MN) and Chuck Grassley (R-IA) called on Office of Management and Budget head Mick Mulvaney to use executive authority to lower prescription drug prices. In addition, the move urges certifying prescription drug importation from Canada as a cost-saving step. "We urge you to seriously consider this existing statutory authority as well as explore other options for executive action," the senators said in a letter to Mulvaney. "We also ask that you please provide your recommendations as to what additional authority you would require to protect American consumers."

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