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 PelosiHillicon Valley: Trump backs potential Microsoft, TikTok deal, sets September deadline | House Republicans request classified TikTok briefing | Facebook labels manipulated Pelosi video Trump says he's considering executive action to suspend evictions, payroll tax Trump won't say if he disagrees with Birx that virus is widespread MORE [D-Calif.], you had Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnellAddison (Mitch) Mitchell McConnellProfessional sports players associations come out against coronavirus liability protections Democratic leaders report 'some progress' in talks with White House Top GOP senator urges agencies to protect renters, banks amid coronavirus aid negotiations MORE [R-Ky.], and President Donald TrumpDonald John TrumpWhite House sued over lack of sign language interpreters at coronavirus briefings Wife blames Trump, lack of masks for husband's coronavirus death in obit: 'May Karma find you all' Trump authorizes reduced funding for National Guard coronavirus response through 2020 MORE all saying drug pricing will be on the agenda in 2019," she continued. 

— Julia Manchester