June 13 brought the first of three planned hearings on drug prices by the Senate Health, Education, Labor and Pensions Committee (HELP).
The first meeting focused primarily on the basics: the evolution of drug prices, gross spending and patient costs, and which forces are behind the changes.
“Even if there is as yet little agreement on what to do about it, senators of both parties came out against the heavy burdens high drug prices have put on patients,” the report’s author, Rachel Sachs, writes.
Senate Democrats during the hearing, according to Sachs, started their time to speak by addressing health care reform and taking aim at Republicans for their “secretive” handling of their AHCA proposal. After some time in the meeting, Republican Senators Collins and Murkowski left the meeting to attend a “private health care lunch” with President Donald Trump.
Legislators also discussed drugs’ list prices — the price publicly reported by the pharmaceutical company — and net prices, which are confidential and include discounts and rebates.