Skubick: Democrats take aim at high prescription drug prices

LANSING, Mich (WLNS) – Legislative Democrats want a new board to address the high cost of prescription drugs.

But that board would not have the power to order cost reductions.

Democrat State Rep. Tom Cochran makes his view clear “price gouging is a matter of life and death.”

Democrats complain that pharmaceutical companies are boosting prescription drug costs at an alarming rate.

Garrett Coinard of Lansing saw his medicine increase from $28 to $200 a month.

He claims “the $200 bucks a month may not seem like a lot for a CEO of a drug company but it’s priced me out of the market.

Coinard contends without the meds, he will eventually lose the ability to walk.

The Democrat proposal is to create a 13-member consumer protection board that would order the drug companies to justify any price boost above 10 percent.

If they don’t they could face a $100,000 a day fine.

But it has no teeth.

When asked if the board would have the power to order companies to reduce prices, State Rep. Sam Singh admits, “it does not.”

The board could request but can’t order the attorney general to investigate if the companies don’t justify the price hikes.

“The the board can request that the attorney general to move forward on that,” said Rep. Singh. “My sense is there would not be an attorney general who would open that investigation.”

It’s a good bet the legislation will be opposed by the drug lobby.

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