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Rep. Waxman to revisit Rx drug pricing

Executive Summary

The House Commerce/Health Subcommittee chairman is considering a second round of hearings on pharmaceutical industry price hikes. At a hearing last summer, the California Democrat criticized the industry for continued double-digit Rx drug price inflation, despite patent restoration and R&E tax credits, when general inflation was running below 4% ("The Pink Sheet" July 22, 1985, p. 5). If Waxman holds another hearing, he is expected to ask HHS Assistant Secretary for Planning & Evaluation Robert Helms to return as a witness. The chairman is reportedly concerned that after three years of review and comments on how to reform Rx drug reimbursement under Medicaid, HHS only recently published a proposal on MAC that included three disparate alternatives ("The Pink Sheet" Aug. 25, p. 3).

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