Some Republicans Are Ready to Work on Prescription-Drug Prices

After months of polls show­ing voters’ con­cerns about pre­scrip­tion-drug costs, mem­bers of both parties in Con­gress are pay­ing at­ten­tion. But the is­sue has the po­ten­tial to split Re­pub­lic­ans, who are typ­ic­ally wary of gov­ern­ment in­tru­sion in­to mar­ket­places.

While some GOP mem­bers are open to con­gres­sion­al in­volve­ment in drug prices, oth­ers aren’t budging. Among the lat­ter is Sen. Or­rin Hatch, chair­man of the Fin­ance Com­mit­tee, mak­ing the is­sue an al­most cer­tain non­starter.

“You can moan and groan about costs all you want, but if you want life-sav­ing ther­apies, and you want treat­ments and or cures, you have to pay the price to get there,” Hatch said in an in­ter­view.

“I think Con­gress ought to keep their mitts off, oth­er than to try to have some reas­on­able ap­proach to­wards it that spurs on the in­dus­tries, so that we have these treat­ments and or cures, and doesn’t gouge people,” he said. “No mat­ter what you do, it’s ex­pens­ive. No mat­ter what you do. And it isn’t the drug com­pan­ies’ fault, nor­mally.”