In a piece written for Health Affairs this week, our Chairman Henry Waxman discusses the broken pharmaceutical marketplace, how empowering Medicare to negotiate prices with the pharmaceutical industry will make prescription drugs more affordable for everyone, and why we need the Lower Drug Costs Now Act.
“As Americans, we like to think of ourselves as number one in everything, but in some cases — health care costs prime among them — it’s a dubious distinction. The fact that we spend twice as much on health care as the average for wealthy industrialized countries while having the lowest life expectancy and the highest infant mortality rates is a national disgrace.
While fixing this toxic combination of skyrocketing costs and poor health outcomes is complicated to say the least, there is one simple, common sense solution to a big part of the problem that can be achieved right now. All it takes is a small dose of political courage.
That step is to lower drug costs now by empowering Medicare to negotiate prices with the pharmaceutical industry. This is exactly what H.R. 3 — the Lower Drug Costs Now Act, introduced by House Committee Chairmen Pallone, Neal, and Scott — will achieve.”