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 Patricia D'Alesandro PelosiRisk-averse Republicans are failing the republic The Hill's Morning Report - Trump, Dems put manufacturing sector in 2020 spotlight Trump, Saturday Night Live and why autocrats can't take a joke MORE [D-Calif.], you had Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnellAddison (Mitch) Mitchell McConnellTrump blasts McCain, bemoans not getting 'thank you' for funeral GOP senator: Trump's criticism of McCain 'deplorable' McConnell calls McCain a 'rare patriot' and 'American hero' after Trump criticism MORE [R-Ky.], and President Donald TrumpDonald John TrumpTrump mocks wind power: 'When the wind doesn't blow, just turn off the television' Pentagon investigator probing whether acting chief boosted former employer Boeing Trump blasts McCain, bemoans not getting 'thank you' for funeral MORE all saying drug pricing will be on the agenda in 2019," she continued. 

— Julia Manchester