Addressing Unstable Prescription Drug Prices

Commonwealth Fund and Laura and John Arnold Foundation

Prescription drug prices are at unprecedented levels. A growing number of patients cannot afford the life-saving treatments they need. Despite a widespread outcry from the public to address high prescription drug prices, it has been difficult to generate bipartisan movement on the issue.

Henry Waxman led the charge in balancing drug innovation with price competition, starting with creating the generic drug market with the Hatch-Waxman Act. Since then, a new landscape with sky high prices has developed. To set the stage for Congress to find bipartisan solutions to address high prescription drug prices, the Waxman team crafted a comprehensive report on the problems and drivers of high drug prices as well as broad range of potential policy options to address each problem. This work was done with support and in collaboration with the Commonwealth Fund and Laura and John Arnold Foundation in partnership with the Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health.

  • Produced a comprehensive report, Getting to the Root of High Prescription Drug Prices, on the drivers of high prescription drug prices and potential solutions to encourage discussion on how to achieve bipartisan action to address them.
  • After release of the report, the Waxman team met with numerous policymakers, stakeholders, and reporters to discuss the report and how to make progress in lowering drug prices.
  • The team continues to educate policymakers and stakeholders on the problems and drivers of high drug pricing, provide technical assistance on policy related to high drug prices, and provide strategic counsel on how to move the needle with continued foundation support.
  • Henry Waxman and the team are also continually invited to speak on drug prices as policy experts.