Prescription drug prices keep rising — Will these ideas help?
Congressmen from New Jersey are supporting efforts to curb rising prescription drug costs.
U.S. Rep. Frank Pallone, D-N.J. 6th District, says rising costs hurt not just patients but taxpayers, who fund Medicare and veterans programs.
He and U.S. Sen. Bob Menendez, D-N.J., back legislation that would force drug companies to explain their large price increases.
"For anyone who has struggled with a chronic condition like high blood pressure or depression, the ability to afford your medication is not just a matter of health. It's a matter of wealth," Menendez said. "It's about being able to support your family, do your job, succeed in school, and achieve your dreams."
The SPIKE Act, or Stopping the Pharmaceutical Industry from Keeping Drugs Expensive, would require pharmaceutical companies who jump the price of a specific drug by 15 percent in a year or 50 percent over five years to explain to the public and the federal government their reasons for the big hikes.
Another bill insures generic drug makers can access formulas and bring low-cost alternative drugs to market after brand name drug patents expire. The CREATES Act, or Creating and Restoring Equal Access to Equivalent Samples, would crack down on companies that deliberately delay the required sharing of product samples with generic drug makers who develop generic versions of a brand name.
Menendez adds that he supports the commerce and innovation in New Jersey pharma industry, one of New Jersey's key economic drivers. That said, Menendez added that "we need to make sure that our laws support healthy competition in the pharmaceutical marketplace."
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Joe Cutter is the afternoon news anchor on New Jersey 101.5