Senate Panel Examines Soaring Generic Drug Prices
In other Capitol Hill news, lawmakers continue to meet about -- but report no agreements on -- the Labor-HHS appropriations bill, as well as other spending measures, for fiscal year 2015.
The Associated Press:
Soaring Prices In Generic Drug Raises Ire, Draw Senate Scrutiny
Some low-cost generic drugs that have helped restrain health care costs for decades are seeing unexpected price spikes of up to 8,000 percent, prompting a backlash from patients, pharmacists and now Washington lawmakers. A Senate panel met Thursday to scrutinize the recent, unexpected trend among generic medicines, which usually cost 30 to 80 percent less than their branded counterparts. Experts said there are multiple, often unrelated, forces behind the price hikes, including drug-ingredient shortages, industry consolidation and production slowdowns due to manufacturing problems. But the lawmakers convening Thursday's hearing said the federal government needs to play a bigger role in restraining prices. (11/21)
With Clock Ticking, Labor-HHS Spending Bill Remains In Limbo
The top four appropriators on the Labor-Health and Human Services-Education spending bill that funds many federal health programs met Wednesday but reported no agreement on a fiscal 2015 blueprint. The group faces pressure to reach quick consensus on a roughly $157 billion bill. Leaders of the Appropriations committees want to finish their dozen overdue bills with a single omnibus measure, but the current fiscal 2015 continuing resolution expires on Dec. 11. (Young and Lesniewski, 11/20)