GOVERNMENT

Utah lawmakers pass resolution asking Congress to lower drug prices

Feb 7, 2020, 6:01 AM | Updated: Feb 8, 2020, 11:59 am
cell phone DATA prescription drugs HR7 Utah...
FILE --Utah State Capitol. 1/27/20 (Photo credit: Colby Walker | KSL NewsRadio)
(Photo credit: Colby Walker | KSL NewsRadio)

SALT LAKE CITY — Utah lawmakers on Thursday passed a resolution that would urge the U.S. Congress to address the rising costs of prescription drugs.

HCR 7’s chief sponsor, Rep. Suzanne Harrison (D-Draper), presented the resolution to the House Health and Human Services Committee.

The resolution highlights the disparity in prices patients pay for brand name prescription drugs in the U.S. and in other countries. It cites a recent study of 79 single-source brand name drugs, concluding that those drugs can be as much as 70% more expensive than those same drugs in Canada, the United Kingdom and Japan.

Resolution addresses high prices

According to the resolution, nearly half of Utah adults either do not fill a prescription or skip or reduce doses due to the high cost of having necessary prescriptions filled.  Overall spending on prescription drugs has grown at more than 2.5 times the rate of inflation.

HCR 7 points to the 2003 Medicare Modernization Act, which established the Medicare Part D drug benefit. It allowed Medicare prescription drug plans to negotiate with drug manufacturers and pharmacies for the lowest available prices.

However, the act prohibits the Secretary of Health and Human Services from being involved in instituting price structures.  HCR 7 would encourage the U.S. Congress to pass one of many bills currently considered, which would allow the secretary to negotiate with drug manufacturers.

At least one of those bills in consideration would have the potential to reduce Medicare prescription drug spending by nearly $80 billion annually by 2027, according to HCR 7.

The resolution also encourages the U.S. Congress to consider innovative ideas and solutions to help reduce prices and keep them low. It cites one Utah-based, nonprofit drug manufacturer,  Civica Rx, which provides a steady supply of generic drugs to over 1,200 hospitals nationwide at a fraction of the commercial cost.

How resolution would work

HCR 7, with the support of Utah Gov. Gary Herbert, encourages U.S. lawmakers to consider price transparency, patent reforms, processes to speed along approval for new drugs and promote overall competition in the marketplace.

A copy of the resolution, if passed by the full House, would be provided to Utah’s congressional delegation, as well as the majority and minority leaders of the U.S. House of Representatives and the U.S. Senate, for consideration.

Dozens of Utahns testified before members of that same committee Thursday, pleading for help with the rising cost of life-saving insulin, addressed in HB 207.

KSL NewsRadio recently focused a series of reports on high prescription drug prices. Costly Cure: Struggling with Soaring Prescription Prices is a five-part series.

Further reading:

Don’t go into debt for your drugs: Price cuts available for prescriptions

Diabetics go underground to counteract prescription costs

Utah joins 44 states in lawsuit against big pharma companies

Utah offers to pay public employees to fill their prescriptions in Mexico

Today’s Top Stories

Government

Former Salt Lake City Mayor Rocky Anderson wants his old job back. ...
Mark Jones

Rocky Anderson announces bid to run for SLC mayor in 2023

Former Salt Lake City Mayor Rocky Anderson announced Wednesday that he is seeking reelection to get his old job back.
21 hours ago
Former Vice President Mike Pence is seen here with audience members after appearing at at CNN town ...
Veronica Stracqualursi, CNN

Pence says Trump was ‘wrong’ for dinner with Holocaust denier

Former Vice President Mike Pence says former President Donald Trump was wrong for having dinner with a Holocaust denier and should apologize for it.
2 days ago
FILE - A Montana man was sentenced to three years in prison for his role in the Capitol riot. (AP P...
The Associated Press

Montana man gets 3 years in prison for role in Capitol riot

A Montana man will spend three years in federal prison for his role in the Jan. 6, 2021, riot at the U.S Capitol.
6 days ago
Dozens of residents were displaced after fire at a low income apartment complex in Richfield, Utah....
Mark Jones

American Red Cross of Utah seeks volunteers in central Utah

The American Red Cross of Utah is seeking volunteers in central Utah after a fire in Richfield earlier this week displaced 35 families.
6 days ago
On Thanksgiving Day, Crave Cookies donated to the Utah County Jail and The Salvation Army hosted me...
Waverly Golden

Thanksgiving Day donations and volunteering

On Thanksgiving Day, Crave Cookies donated to the Utah County Jail and The Salvation Army hosted meal preparation and delivery to Utah families.
6 days ago
Gail Halvorsen, the Berlin Candy Bomber, poses for a photo in the backyard of his Provo home days b...
Waverly Golden

Utahn helps non-profit with modern day “Candy Bomber” operation

In memory of "The Candy Bomber," a fundraiser hopes to supply Christmas presents to refugee children in Berlin and Ukraine.
8 days ago

Sponsored Articles

Happy joyful smiling casual satisfied woman learning and communicates in sign language online using...
Sorenson

The best tools for Deaf and hard-of-hearing workplace success

Here are some of the best resources to make your workplace work better for Deaf and hard-of-hearing employees.
Team supporters celebrating at a tailgate party...
Macey's

8 Delicious Tailgate Foods That Require Zero Prep Work

In a hurry? These 8 tailgate foods take zero prep work, so you can fuel up and get back to what matters most: getting hyped for your favorite
christmas decorations candles in glass jars with fir on a old wooden table...
Western Nut Company

12 Mason Jar Gift Ideas for the 12 Days of Christmas [with recipes!]

There are so many clever mason jar gift ideas to give something thoughtful to your neighbors or friends. Read our 12 ideas to make your own!
wide shot of Bear Lake with a person on a stand up paddle board...

Pack your bags! Extended stays at Bear Lake await you

Work from here! Read our tips to prepare for your extended stay, whether at Bear Lake or somewhere else nearby.
young boy with hearing aid...
Sorenson

Accommodations for students who are deaf and hard of hearing

These different types of accommodations for students who are deaf and hard of hearing can help them succeed in school.
Young woman receiving laser treatment...
Form Derm Spa

How facial plastic surgery and skincare are joining forces

Facial plastic surgery is not only about looking good but about feeling good too. The medical team at Form Spa are trained to help you reach your aesthetic outcomes through surgery and through skincare and dermatology, too.
Utah lawmakers pass resolution asking Congress to lower drug prices