U.S. Capitol Building DrugmakersAbbVie, AstraZeneca, Bristol-Myers Squibb, Johnson & Johnson,Merck, Pfizer and Sanofi appeared before the Senate FinanceCommittee as lawmakers mull how to best control rising drug prices.(Photo: Mike Scarcella/ALM)

Senators got their first opportunity Tuesday to prod drugmakers about the wallet-emptyingprices they charge for prescription drugs.

Almost in unison, the executives expressed support for eliminating rebates that flow to industrymiddlemen instead of patients; for increasing transparency abouthow they set prices; for shifting to a more value-based pricingsystem, in which outcomes are rewarded. Together they demurred whenasked to commit to lowering list prices on drugs like insulin andthe blockbuster rheumatoid arthritis drug Humira.

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