Obama administration: New drugs must remain affordable

money in wallet
Posted at 11:44 AM, Nov 20, 2015
and last updated 2015-11-20 11:44:00-05

WASHINGTON -- The Obama administration says a better balance is needed so new drugs aren't priced out-of-reach for patients.

Health and Human Services Secretary Sylvia Burwell opened a forum on drug prices Friday by saying too many people are struggling to pay for their prescriptions. Americans shouldn't have to choose between innovative medications and affordability.

Polls show that drug costs are the leading health care concern for the public, with support across party lines for some kind of government action.

The daylong event at HHS headquarters in Washington is meant to provide a stage for different sides of the debate. Consumer advocates, insurers, pharmaceutical companies, state officials and policy experts are scheduled to speak.

President Barack Obama has called for giving Medicare legal authority to negotiate prices for high cost "specialty drugs."