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 HatchOrrin Hatch Foundation seeking million in taxpayer money to fund new center in his honor Mitch McConnell has shown the nation his version of power grab Overnight Health Care — Presented by PCMA — Utah Senate votes to scale back Medicaid expansion | Virginia abortion bill reignites debate | Grassley invites drug execs to testify | Conservative groups push back on e-cig crackdown 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 DurbinTrump praises law enforcement response to shooting at Illinois business Five dead in shooting at manufacturing plant in Aurora, Illinois ‘Contingency’ spending in 3B budget deal comes under fire 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 TrumpTrump nominates ambassador to Turkey Trump heads to Mar-a-Lago after signing bill to avert shutdown CNN, MSNBC to air ad turned down by Fox over Nazi imagery 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.”