Consumers sue drug companies, Congress considers its options

February 2, 2017

pills-943764_1920Consumers frustrated by high prescription drug costs are asking both the courts and Congress to find a remedy.

A group of diabetes patients filed a lawsuit against three drug companies alleging fraudulent pricing practices to inflate the price of insulin. The complaint, brought by 11 patients in U.S. District Court in Massachusetts, focuses on price rebates or discounts commonly offered by the pharmaceutical industry.

The patients say drug companies are increasing the list price of insulin while expanding their so-called discounts. However, according to a Washington Post report, consumers and their insurance companies are paying much higher prices for life-saving medications. For example, the sticker price of a version of insulin known as “Humalog” jumped from $21 to $255 a vial in two decades.

Meanwhile, after a White House meeting with President Donald Trump and pharmaceutical industry executives, U.S. Rep. Greg Walden, R-Oregon, said rising drug prices is an issue his House Energy and Commerce Committee wants to tackle.

Walden said a bill could speed the FDA approval process for new drugs to get to market.

“That’s where we see the biggest failures, where there’s no competition,” Walden told reporters for The Hill.

How have you been affected by rising prescription drug prices? Share your story with Voices for Affordable Health.