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House passes legislation that gives power to government to negotiate prescription drug prices

Posted at 5:51 PM, Dec 12, 2019

(WKBW) — Congressman Brian Higgins (D) announced that the House passed legislation that he says would lower the cost of prescription drugs.

According to Higgins, the new legislation allows the government to negotiate drug costs. The bill would also require drug companies to issue rebates if their costs rise faster than inflation.

"Patients continue to face enormous year-over-year price increases on the drugs they need. In the first half of 2018, for every drug that saw a price decrease, 96 drugs saw a price increase," Higgins said. "We also know that drug price hikes are almost never connected to any evidence of innovation or improved benefit. Why do drug companies raise the prices of existing drugs? Because they can. It is imperative that we protect patients both from unaffordable drug prices and unjustified price increases on those drugs.”

The legislation will combat the opioid epidemic by investing close to $2 billion annually between 2021 and 2025.