Yesterday evening Senator Amy Klobuchar (D-MN), one of the Senate's leading champions of reducing prescription drug prices, delivered an important speech on the Senate floor. In this speech, she criticizes President Trump's nomination of Alex Azar to be the next Secretary of Health and Human Services, and urges that Congress swiftly take action to bring drug costs down.
Senator Klobuchar points out that Mr. Azar is a former drug company executive for Eli Lilly, one of three companies that manufactures insulin to treat diabetes. Eli Lilly has greatly raised insulin prices over the past few years. Azar has also opposed government efforts to curb drug costs and promote access, although he has criticized insurance companies and pharmacy benefit managers (PBMs) for encouraging higher drug prices. Klobuchar urges that Congress pass several bills: the CREATES Act to end regulatory abuses and promote generic drug access, a bill to allow the importation of cheaper medicines from Canada and other countries, and a bill to allow Medicare to negotiate lower drug prices.