Washington's leading liberal think tank is talking about doing something to control rising drug prices, but will the next president and Congress listen?
The Center for American Progress—whose founder John Podesta is now chairing Hillary Clinton's presidential campaign—on Friday called for a series of steps to address what it called "this growing crisis" of prescription drug costs, which include having drugmakers "refund" money to the federal government if they don't spend a minimum amount on research and development.
CAP's proposals also include a system to "categorize new drugs" by their effectiveness relative to existing medication—which could then influence their price—and having the government license patents to competitors if a drugmaker fails to charge "reasonable prices" for medication that comes out of federally funded research.
A number of CAP's proposals—which the pharmaceutical industry immediately criticized—would require legislation by Congress, which is extremely unlikely to act on the issue of drug prices before the 2016 presidential and congressional elections.
However, the think tank said that its other proposals could be accomplished under existing laws and through regulatory action.