GOP, Dems have 'rare' opportunity to work together on drug prices, says advocate

Lauren Blair, the communications director at the Campaign for Sustainable Drug Pricing, said on Tuesday that Democrats and Republicans have the chance to come together on lowering drug prices in 2019. 

"This is a rare bipartisan opportunity that we see," Blair told Hill.TV's Buck Sexton and Jamal Simmons on "Rising." 

"People on the left and the right campaigned on this, and so now, there's enough public pressure from the American people that there's going to need to be action," she continued. 

"What our organization, the Campaign for Sustainable Drug Pricing, is doing is now holding those members accountable who ran saying that they were going to tackle this issue. We're here to say 'great, keep your commitment,' " Blair said. 

Despite facing pressure from the Trump administration, pharmaceutical company Pfizer announced it will increase the prices of 41 drugs in January. 

The administration has taken steps aimed at combating rising drug prices, including drafting proposals to make insurers disclose drug prices in television advertisements, and undoing "gag clauses," which can prevent pharmacists from telling patients about low-cost medication options. 

"They've actually taken some very serious steps. Not only are they setting records for the number of generics being approved, but they're looking at different ways to increase transparency ... [and] competition," Blair said.

"Obviously this has been a priority for the Trump administration, but right after the midterm elections, you had presumptive Speaker Nancy PelosiNancy PelosiHouse Democrat pushes for censuring Trump in closed-door meeting Trump: I don't have a racist bone in my body Ocasio-Cortez responds to fresh criticism from Trump MORE [D-Calif.], you had Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnellAddison (Mitch) Mitchell McConnellThe Hill's Morning Report - Presented by JUUL Labs - House to vote to condemn Trump tweet GOP put on the back foot by Trump's race storm Overnight Health Care — Presented by PCMA —Biden unveils health care plan | Proposal pitches subsidies, public option | Biden vows if you like your health insurance, 'you can keep it' | Sanders protests planned Philadelphia hospital closure MORE [R-Ky.], and President Donald TrumpDonald John TrumpEsper sidesteps question on whether he aligns more with Mattis or Trump Warren embraces Thiel label: 'Good' As tensions escalate, US must intensify pressure on Iran and the IAEA MORE all saying drug pricing will be on the agenda in 2019," she continued. 

— Julia Manchester