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Calling for New Laws Over 'Trump Photo-Ops,' Warren Unveils Bill to Take 'Real Action' to Lower Prescription Drug Costs

"This is one of many steps that needs to be taken to stop soaring drug prices, especially while the Trump administration offers only their 'hope' that drug companies will lower them on their own."

Patients purchase prescriptions at a Walmart in Mount Prospect, Illinois. (Photo: Tim Boyle/Getty Images)

A new bill introduced by Democratic members of both houses of Congress will take "real action to protect families" from high prescription drug costs instead of providing a "photo op" for President Donald Trump, said co-sponsor Sen. Elizabeth Warren (D-Mass.).

The Capping Prescription Costs Act of 2018 bill was introduced Wednesday by Warren as well as Sens. Ron Wyden (D-Ore.), Bill Nelson (D-Fla.), Patty Murray (D-Wash.), and Rep. Jacky Rosen (D-Nev.), to combat one of the fastest-rising healthcare costs faced by American families.

More than a quarter of Americans face struggle to pay for the medications they need, while a Harvard Medical School study found in 2015 that millions of people skip taking their prescriptions to save money. 

The Democratic bill would be applied to group health insurance plans and individual market plans, and would cap prescription costs at $250 per month for individuals and at $500 per month for families.

President Donald Trump introduced a plan to lower prescription drug prices in May, but experts found that his proposal could increase costs for people on Medicare who need treatment for serious illnesses like cancer.

He also criticized the pharma giant Pfizer in a tweet this week, for its skyrocketing drug prices—a tactic Warren dismissed as a failure to provide real leadership for Americans struggling to pay medical bills.

After Pfizer said it would put price increases on hold for the month of July, Trump tweeted, "We applaud Pfizer for this decision and hope other companies do the same."

"More and more families are facing sky-high out-of-pocket costs for their prescription drugs, and they can't keep waiting for the president to follow through on his promises," Wyden said. "This bill ensures that families continue to have their health without risking financial hardship. This is one of many steps that needs to be taken to stop soaring drug prices, especially while the Trump administration offers only their 'hope' that drug companies will lower them on their own."

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