On Thursday, several Republicans in the U.S. Senate, including U.S. Sens. Marco Rubio and Rick Scott, sent a letter to Stephen Ubl, the president and CEO of the Pharmaceutical Research and Manufacturers of America (PhRMA), asking that they provide solutions to address the rising cost of prescription drugs. Other signers of the letter include U.S. Sens. Mike Braun, R-Ind., Kevin Cramer, R-ND, Josh Hawley, R-Mo., Cindy Hyde-Smith, R-Miss., Ron Johnson, R-Wis., and Dan Sullivan, R-Alaska. The letter reads as follows:
We hear it every day in our states. Drug prices are too high. Patients are paying more and more every year for life-saving drugs, and some are forced to go without those treatments because they simply cannot afford them.
Soaring drug prices are a serious problem and a problem Washington should have addressed long ago. We cannot understand why Americans pay two to six times more than the rest of the world for brand name prescription drugs or why the U.S. comprised 42 percent of global pharmaceutical revenues based on 2016 data. American consumers should not be subsidizing European countries so they can keep prices low for their consumers. The system needs to change.
Transparency in health care costs is key to giving patients flexibility and control over their health care decisions. American consumers should always come first, and it is time for U.S. companies to be more transparent and bring down the prices of prescription drugs for Americans relative to Canada, Europe and other developed nations.
We write today to ask, as the trade association representing the pharmaceutical industry, what solutions does your association have that would increase transparency and directly lower the list price of drugs for consumers? What specific plans do you have to address price disparities in the international market? And are you willing to work with us to find real solutions to help the American people?
In Washington, there is often too much finger pointing and not enough problem solving. We do not accept that. We are working to find solutions that directly help patients get the health care they deserve. Thank you in advance for your response. We look forward to your cooperation as we work together to lower the cost of prescription drugs.