New bill would force drug companies to explain price hikes

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WASHINGTON (NEXSTAR) — Lawmakers on Capitol Hill introduced a bill to force pharmaceutical companies to be more transparent about pricing.

The legislation, called “the Spike Act,” has support from both Democrats and Republicans. 

It was modeled after a state law passed in Nevada in 2017. 

Rep. Steven Horsford, D-NV, is currently working with Republican Congressman Tom Reed on the Spike Act in the House of Representatives. 

Horsford explained the bill would force drug manufacturers to explain huge price hikes. 

“There are too many families, particularly in my home state of Nevada, who are struggling to afford the medications they need,” Horsford said. 

Oregon Sen. Ron Wyden introduced the Spike Act in the Senate. Wyden has been a historical critic of Big Pharma, claiming drug companies are gouging American consumers. He believes the companies continue to get away with it because no one has gone toe-to-toe with them. 

“Pharmaceuticals move in interstate commerce, so I think the right way to do it, to get the maximum amount of leverage is to do it federally,” said Wyden. 

Wyden said drug companies may be more hesitant to raise prices if they have to disclose their reasoning. The Oregon senator wants to use the Spike Act data for Medicare and Medicaid to negotiate drug prices. 

“And then I’m going to say let’s use that data to do some hardball negotiating,” said Wyden. 

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