Sen. Smith introduces bills to lower prescription drug costs

(ABC 6 News) – U.S. Sen. Tina Smith (D-MN) and her colleagues have introduced three bills that get at the problems Americans have affording their prescription medicine.

A three-year investigation revealed that big drug companies will use all of their power to keep drug prices up for consumers.

One of the three bills introduced would make drug companies be transparent about how much they’re spending on research, drug development and clinical trials to see if all of that money is actually going into research or going elsewhere.

"You know when you ask the big drug companies ‘Why are we paying so much more here in the United States?’ In some cases, three times more than people pay in other countries. Why are we paying so much here? They say, ‘Oh it’s because of the money that we have to spend to develop these medications.’ But yet they never lay out or describe for us exactly how much it costs to do this development," Sen. Smith said.

Smith said bringing the cost of prescription drugs down is something she has been working on since she came to the Senate.

This package of legislation was just introduced last month and Smith said they will be pushing the bills forward in both the House and the Senate. This can take a long time but she said she feels a real sense of urgency.