What is Giving Compass?
We connect donors to learning resources and ways to support community-led solutions. Learn more about us.
Giving Compass' Take:
• In this story from The Hill, the authors seek answers to whether or not Congress will be able to lower drug prices. They conclude that, because Democrats and powerful Republican Senator Chuck Grassley support a drug importation bill, progress is possible.
• How do the attitudes of the government towards drug markets and prices affect the way that philanthropists should approach the issue? Should donors direct their resources toward causes they expect the government to ignore?
• To learn what Congress is doing to tackle school safety, click here.
Sen. Chuck Grassley (R-Iowa) is giving Republicans an early test on their commitment to lowering drug prices.
Legislation sponsored by the Senate Finance Committee chairman and Democratic Sen. Amy Klobuchar (Minn.) would allow people to buy prescription drugs from approved pharmacies in Canada.
The bill is reigniting a long-simmering debate about drug importation, a proposal strongly opposed by the powerful pharmaceutical lobby.
Despite Grassley’s support, the measure faces an uphill battle in the Senate, where the Iowa Republican has long fought to make inroads with skeptical Republicans. But intense public pressure on drug companies over escalating prices and support from the Trump administration could tip the scales.
In addition, a new House Democratic majority made rising prescription drug costs a pillar of their midterm platform and could put pressure on the Senate to act, especially with Grassley as a powerful ally.
“It’s helpful for Democrats to have a pretty powerful Republican,” said Juliette Cubanski, an associate director at the Kaiser Family Foundation. “With Democrats on board and a key Republican in the Senate, action may be more likely.”
High drug prices are a bipartisan concern, and politicians recognize the need for action. Yet Congressional Republicans have historically not been supportive of drug importation.
Read the full article about drug prices by Nathaniel Weivel and Jessie Hellmann at The Hill