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Drug costs Both Democrats and Republicans have been vocal advocates for passing legislation targeting drug prices, though discussions were delayed as legislators turned their attention to the coronavirus pandemic. (Photo: Shutterstock)

Health care spending in the U.S. continues to increase year after year, with prescription drugs accounting for a significant portion. The Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services estimates that prescription drug expenditure in the United States came to some 335 billion U.S. dollars in 2018. CMS predicts that, over the next 10 years, spending on prescription drugs will be the fastest growth health category and will consistently outpace other health expenditures. It is for this reason that health plans, employers and policymakers have been calling for measures to help lower the cost of prescription medications.

Both Democrats and Republicans have been vocal advocates for passing bipartisan legislation to address this national concern, specifically working on bills S.2543 and H.R.3. Understandably, however, these discussions were delayed as legislators turned their attention to federal aid bills designed to ease COVID-19-related economic concerns. Recently, the Trump administration announced drug pricing is a priority again, but there is no firm timetable in sight for movement on major proposals.

 

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