By NICK GOSNELL
HUTCHINSON, Kan. — As Congress looks for ways to reduce prescription drug prices, it's important for voters in Kansas to ask those running to represent them what they will do to help.
"The problem with government stepping in and sort of arbitrarily imposing lower prices is, it feels good in the near term for products that already exist," said Phil Kerpen with American Commitment. "They become less expensive, but it completely destroys the economics of developing new cures."
It's not the cost of the second pill and beyond, it's the cost of the first pill that is the issue.
"That first pill, the first legally sold pill after you get all the FDA approvals, all the research has been done and all the regulatory compliance and so forth, the first pill costs $2.5 billion," Kerpen said. "The second pill costs $1. You can't say, we're going to set prices to what it costs you to make that second pill or tenth pill or millionth pill, because if you do that, you're not going to get another first pill."
As candidates come through running for the U.S. Senate seat being vacated by Pat Roberts, or to replace First District Congressman Roger Marshall, Kerpen believes Kansans should ask them some important questions.
"I think we need to ask them what the strategy is to get something meaningful done to lower drug prices that does not undermine the incentive for research and development in bringing new cures to market," Kerpen said. "If you guys don't deliver something, as Republicans, we're going to end up with the worst possible outcome here, which is the Nancy Pelosi bill, because people are not going to tolerate prices being where they are."
Prescription drug prices have been a big issue in many Congressional races across the country and it's one of the areas where there is consensus between both parties that a solution is needed.