U-S Senator Al Franken is leading the way with a bill that aims to bring down prescription drug prices. Franken says drug companies are putting profits before people and “a lot of people would be surprised to hear that pharmaceuticals spend more money on marketing than on research and development. Companies very often justify the price of their pharmaceuticals by saying they ‘spend all this money on research and development,’ well they spend more on commercials.”Franken says his proposal would lower costs by increasing transparency and accountability. And it would allow Medicare to negotiate with pharmaceutical companies on the cost of pharmaceuticals, “just like the VA does, and they save a lot of money, they save about $24 billion, that’s actual, real money.” Franken says the bill also outlaws the practice of “pay for delay” when drug makers pay generic drug makers to stay out of the market. Franken’s bill has the support of several key Democratic senators, but faces an uphill battle with Republicans.
Franken explains the bill to MNN’s Scott Peterson: