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Government Committee No Cure for High Drug Prices

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Every day, new and better drugs barge into the market, ready to treat Crohn’s Disease, cancer, and every malady in between. Some, though, openly wonder if the price tag that comes with these new medications needs to be reduced via government “negotiation” or onerous price controls. A full committee hearing led by Sens. Chuck Grassley (R-Iowa) and Ron Wyden (D-Ore.) last week helped to put this question to rest, and showcased promising alternatives to government regulation.

While Americans deserve a careful examination of drug regulations and reimbursements, committees in themselves do little to move reform, and last week’s committee will likely prove no different. But lawmakers can use the dialogue to start a longer-lasting conversation on health care reform. Leaders should turn away from the prevailing rhetoric of more government involvement in the sector, and advocate for lower prices via long-overdue reforms at the Food and Drug Administration (FDA).

Even before drug pricing reform got its day on Capitol Hill, the issue had already been swirling around the offices of regulatory agencies for months. The Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) fired the opening........

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