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 PelosiFive takeaways from the Ohio special primaries On The Money: Biden issues targeted eviction moratorium | GOP skepticism looms over bipartisan spending deal 'The Squad' celebrates Biden eviction moratorium MORE [D-Calif.], you had Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnellAddison (Mitch) Mitchell McConnellOvernight Health Care: Florida becomes epicenter of COVID-19 surge | NYC to require vaccination for indoor activities | Biden rebukes GOP governors for barring mask mandates McConnell warns Schumer cutting off debate quickly could stall infrastructure deal Top House Democrat says party would lose elections if they were held today: report MORE [R-Ky.], and President Donald TrumpDonald TrumpFive takeaways from the Ohio special primaries Missouri Rep. Billy Long enters Senate GOP primary Trump-backed Mike Carey wins GOP primary in Ohio special election MORE all saying drug pricing will be on the agenda in 2019," she continued. 

— Julia Manchester