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Americans want drug pricing reform


Soaring prescription drug prices is quickly becoming a hot-button political topic, as American consumers are saying that pricing is out-of-control.

Soaring prescription drug prices is quickly becoming a hot-button political topic, as American consumers are saying that pricing is out-of-control.

When asked what the next healthcare priority should be for the White House and Congress, 76% of Americans said "making sure that high-cost drugs for chronic conditions ... are affordable to those who need them,” according to a Kaiser Family Foundation poll released earlier this week. In addition, 60% of those surveyed said they support government action to lower drug prices.

And Hillary Clinton has said that prescription drug affordability will be a priority in her coming campaign. "We need to drive a harder bargain negotiating with drug companies about the costs of drugs," she said in Iowa last week, according to an article in NationalJournal, quoting MSNBC.

Related:Prescription drug development costs skyrocket

Democrats say the federal government should negotiate with pharmaceutical companies on the cost of prescription drugs for Medicare. In addition, President Obama’s 2016 budget included language on negotiating Medicare drug costs, but the proposal was restricted to certain high-cost specialty drugs, according to NationalJournal.

Related: HHS to investigate price spikes for generic drugs

Republicans, meanwhile, warn that Medicare's size means such a measure would lead to outright price controls. Sen. Marco Rubio proposed a broader overhaul of federal regulation last year, creating a new review board to help assess regulations' costs, a move that conservatives argue would help bring drug (and other products') costs down, NationalJournal reported.

It is no surprise that American consumers want lower prices on prescription drugs, since the average price for the 50 most popular generic drugs increased 373% from 2010 to 2014. The average price surged from $13.14 to $62.10 in 2014, according to an article in the Chicago Tribune.

Read next: Louisiana bill seeks closed formulary

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