Demand Transparency. Force pharmaceutical companies to justify dramatic cost increases.

Millions of Americans rely every day on prescription drugs to maintain their health. It is flagrantly unfair that U.S. Consumers pay the highest prices in the world and that many older adults have to choose between filling their prescriptions and buying food. From cancer treatments to EpiPens, drug companies' skyrocketing prices are pushing life-saving treatments out of reach for those who need them. Trump, Congress and state governments must stop pharmaceutical greed and cut drug prices now, not just talk about it. No one should have to choose between buying medicine or buying food for their families. It's shameful.

Congress needs to quit talking and take action to protect seniors and all consumers and taxpayers from price gouging by drug companies. Demand that your legislators support common sense solutions to lower prescription drug prices today. Very few are doing the job.  

Rick Scott is now pushing to cut prescription drug prices and drawing fierce opposition from groups that usually are his allies — those on the political Republican right, who are condemning his proposal as “socialism.” Scott may be an unusual advocate for lowering drug prices. But, “socialism” because you want to make drug companies accountable and transparent?

“Is Sen. Rick Scott a reformer? This legislation may suggest a reformer emerging or it may be political expediency,” said Jeremy Leaming, with the National Health Law Program.

Scott’s Senate proposal, filed in April, is being attacked by conservative groups for tying the price of drugs in the U.S. to the lowest price paid in Canada, Japan, France, Germany and the United Kingdom.

Right-leaning organizations also oppose Scott’s bill, echoing industry claims that foreign reference pricing would reduce needed pharmaceutical research and slow development of new treatments. “This will inevitably suppress innovation and harm American competitiveness,” a coalition of 50 groups and activists said in an open letter to Congress blasting the legislation by Scott and fellow Republican Sen. Josh Hawley of Missouri. Assume you’re a well-meaning conservative and yet these alleged conservatives, so entwined with the fraudsters of the pharmaceutical industry, don’t want you and those most in need to save on prescription drugs. How do you reconcile that?

This coalition of 50 groups and activists said in their letter to Congress that Vermont Sen. Bernie Sanders, whom it described as a “self-avowed socialist,” had introduced similar legislation. Among those signing were representatives of Americans for Tax Reform, the American Conservative Union, FreedomWorks and Florida’s own James Madison Institute.

President Trump has sought to cast his many Democratic challengers for the White House as left-wing socialist radicals. But what does he do with Scott? Socialism is great for fraudsters when the banks and financials institutions are bailed out, socialism in its purest form on behalf of those who clearly would have been shuttered completely and rightfully so, but not when the goal is to help those who most need the help and can least afford it.  

Scott said he’s willing to challenge the powerful pharmaceutical industry. “I ran the largest hospital company in the country,” Scott told Fox News recently. “My bill does exactly what I did in the business. I told the pharmaceutical companies you can’t charge Americans more than you charge Europeans. And that’s what we did. It’s pretty basic.”

Scott’s legislation also would require pharmacies to tell patients what the out-of-pocket costs of their prescriptions would be if they didn’t use insurance — which he says sometimes can be cheaper.  

But it’s the European pricing that’s attracted the most attention.

“Everybody wants to ‘do something’ about drug prices,” said Naomi Lopez Bauman, director of health care policy at the Goldwater Institute, which opposes Scott’s bill. “But sometimes, expensive drug therapy is what a small sample of patients need. Do you do away with that?” Does that make common sense?

“Even Gilead’s drugs were very expensive. But if they kept someone from needing a liver transplant, weren’t they worth it? And more companies have been brought into the Hep C market place and the prices have come down,” she added.

Credit excerpts: AARP.