Sen. Braun's plan to lower prescription prices

The cost of prescription drugs is the biggest concern U.S. Senator Mike Braun heard on the campaign trail. Now, he's responding to those complaints with how he plans to bring those prices down.

Posted: Mar 19, 2019 6:51 PM
Updated: Mar 19, 2019 6:51 PM

LAFAYETTE, Ind. (WLFI) — People like Robert McCoy know the effects of high prescription drug prices.

"$400-$500 a month," said McCoy. 

He said that's what he paid for his mom's prescriptions.

"She had Parkinson's Disease and needed medications and she couldn't afford them," explained McCoy. 

U.S. Senator Mike Braun said he heard about this issue more than anything else on the campaign trail.

"It affects all Americans," said Braun. 

Sen. Mike Braun says he wants to shed light on negotiations between drug manufacturers, the middlemen, and pharmacies. Braun hopes to expand the prohibition of rebates for government health care programs to the private industry.

"Transparency would benefit everybody to know what is going on with their dollar when they are spending it," said McCoy. 

Braun also wants to speed up the FDA's approval process for drugs that are already for sale in other developed countries like Canada and the UK.

"That's not to give up anything in terms of safety and scrutiny," said Braun. "But again that process has been slow and doesn't get back here and that's why we hear about stuff being so much cheaper in other countries."

Braun said when it comes to generic prescriptions, big pharma tries to delay the process of creating them by paying competitors millions or filing what's known as a citizen petition.

"My bill says hey, you know, you can't do that," said Braun.

"I think he's on the right track," responded McCoy. "I think it's a good idea to get the prices down to where people can afford to take their medications."

But if the industry doesn't cooperate, Braun said there will be consequences.

"The cost of health care has got to come down or the industry is going to be dealing with one business partner, the federal government," said Braun. "I'd hate to see that because we will sacrifice some quality when that happens."

News 18 is planning to sit down with a local pharmacy owner to talk about Braun's bills and other issues facing this industry.

That is expected to air Wednesday night at 5 and 6.

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