Schakowsky speaks out against high prescription drug prices
U.S. Rep. Jan Schakowsky (D-IL) recently spoke to the House Steering and Policy Committee on the high cost of prescription drugs.
Schakowsky spoke of the financial difficulties many Americans face due to the high prices of prescription drugs. She reminded the committee that although a lot of drug research is funded by taxpayer dollars, pharmaceutical companies charge high prices, claiming that the research and development costs must be recouped. The manufacturers are not required to provide an accounting on the monies spent to develop, produce or market prescription medications.
The congresswoman pointed out that the leukemia medication, Gleevec, was mainly developed at the Oregon Health & Science University. The research was mostly funded by the National Institutes of Health, a taxpayer-funded government agency, and yet the drug's cost in 2001 was $30,000 and is currently $76,000. Without accountability, the manufacturer can charge as much possible to maximize its profits.
"As a founding member of the Affordable Drug Pricing Task Force, I am committed to making sure that we take action on this important issue," Schakowsky said. "I have also supported negotiating drug prices under Medicare Part D, creating a non-profit Medicare Part D plan that would be administered by Health and Human Services, the re-importation of prescription drugs from Canada, requiring rebates on drugs covered by Medicare and Medicaid, reducing barriers that prohibit generics from entering the marketplace and increasing drug pricing and cost transparency. Together we can work to ensure we bring transparency and accountability to drug pricing."