Days after unveiling an investigation into the drug pricing practices of 12 pharmaceutical companies, House Oversight Committee Chairman Rep. Elijah Cummings (D-Md.) met with the Secretary of Health & Human Services, Alex Azar, to discuss ways they can work together to lower drug prices.
Although the two did not discuss specific legislation, Cummings told reporters he was encouraged by the meeting and felt that they could reach a bipartisan consensus on the matter.
“We share the same goal so that was good enough for me,” Cummings said, according to The Hill.
“Secretary Azar and the Trump Administration appreciate Chairman Cummings’s leadership in calling attention to the issue of skyrocketing drug costs,” Azar spokeswoman Caitlin Oakley told the news outlet.
“The Administration is committed to working with Democrats and Republicans to accomplish what was set forth in the President’s blueprint on drug prices, to make sure Americans see lower prices and reduced out-of-pocket costs,” Oakley added.
Democrats and President Donald Trump have made lowering drug prices a priority, although they have not always agreed on how to achieve that goal.
Last week, Cummings and fellow Democrats introduced legislation that aims to rein in drug prices. The legislation includes proposals such as allowing Medicare to negotiate drug prices. Trump has previously supported that idea, but his administration does not currently endorse it.
As part of Cummings’ investigation into drug prices, the committee chairman asked 12 pharmaceutical companies to submit information relating to R&D practices, corporate strategies and any communications related to price hikes.
Drug-delivery devices, such as Novo Nordisk’s Novolog Flexpen for people with diabetes and AbbVie’s Humira pen for people with arthritis, made the list of products that Cummings plans to investigate.