Grassley tries to overcome Hatch objections to disclosing drug prices in ads

Grassley tries to overcome Hatch objections to disclosing drug prices in ads

Sen. Chuck Grassley (R-Iowa) is trying to overcome objections from fellow GOP lawmaker Sen. Orrin HatchOrrin Grant HatchGrand Staircase-Escalante: A conservation triumph is headed for future as playground for industry McConnell tamps down any talk of Kavanaugh withdrawal GOP offers to ban cameras from testimony of Kavanaugh accuser MORE (Utah) to get a bipartisan amendment on drug prices included in a massive spending bill now moving through the Senate.

Grassley and Sen. Dick DurbinRichard (Dick) Joseph DurbinGrassley to administration: You must consult Congress on refugee cap Overnight Health Care: Senators target surprise medical bills | Group looks to allow Medicaid funds for substance abuse programs | FDA launches anti-vaping campaign for teens Bipartisan group wants to lift Medicaid restriction on substance abuse treatment MORE (D-Ill.) are pushing for their amendment to provide funding for the Department of Health and Human Services to require drug companies to disclose the price of a drug in television advertisements.

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The bipartisan pair calls the proposal a commonsense way to increase transparency and fight high drug prices.

But Hatch objects, according to Grassley and other Senate aides and lobbyists.

Grassley said Thursday that he met with Hatch “48 hours ago” to try to overcome Hatch’s concerns.

“I think the end result is that he wants to object,” Grassley said of Hatch.

A spokeswoman for Hatch declined to comment.

Asked if he would oppose the larger government funding bill for health care now moving through the Senate if the amendment is not included, Grassley said, “I don’t want to project because I think there’s some negotiations going on.”

Durbin and Grassley have both blamed the powerful pharmaceutical industry for stirring up opposition to their amendment.

“What we're up against here is a very powerful interest in this town,” Grassley said.

The Pharmaceutical Research and Manufacturers of America, the main drug industry lobbying group, opposes requiring the disclosure of prices in ads, saying it could “confuse patients.”

The Trump administration, though, has expressed support for the idea and has proposed it as part of President TrumpDonald John TrumpLondon terror suspect’s children told authorities he complained about Trump: inquiry The Memo: Tide turns on Kavanaugh Trump to nominate retiring lawmaker as head of trade agency MORE’s plan to lower drug prices. 

“How often do you get Senator Grassley and Senator Durbin cooperating on the same thing?” Grassley said. “Not too often.”