Michigan democrats looking to take on prescription drug costs
LANSING, Mich. (SINCLAIR BROADCAST GROUP) - Prescription drug costs are expected to increase by double digits for Americans this year, according to Segal Counseling.
Friday night, Michigan Democrats say they have a plan that could stop the hikes.
Drug prices are continuing to rise faster than wages and cost of living, which is putting a bind on household budgets.
"I got him when he was three months old," said Lansing resident Garrett Clinard, of his dog.
Theses days Garrett Clinard spends more money on his dog's food than his own food.
"He just turned ten in June," he said.
That became a problem when Clinard's medicine prices spiked.
Clinard has CPPDD, which means his body creates too much calcium, resulting in crystal deposits in his joints.
"They are razor sharp. And it's extremely painful and you can't move," he said.
The medication that helps with the pain use to cost him $32 for one supply.
"In the last four, five years, it's gone up to $152 now, and I can no longer afford it. I have 17 cents in the bank account right now, and I'm ten days from getting paid again," Clinard said.
The pharmaceutical company gave him no reason why the price was hiked.
"None whatsoever," he said.
Clinard is now working with Michigan Democrats to find a remedy for rising drug prices.
"Michiganders have a right to know the price of the medication and why it increase," said Rep. Sam Singh (D-East Lansing).
House Democrats have a plan that would crack down on massive spikes by establishing a Consumer Protection Board.
If the plan passes, drug companies would have to submit approval of price spikes over 10% in one year or 30% over five years.
It's a similar plan to how natural gas companies are regulated.
"This legislation would not only hold manufacturers accountable, it would increase transparency for drug prices, so if the prices for up, you'll know why," Rep. Singh said.
"To tell you the truth, I think it's time big pharma becomes regulated. It's too vital a thing to have people raising prices three, four, five hundreds of times for absolutely no reason," said Clinard.
On the national level, President Trump said he will take on the pharmaceutical industry.
We just haven't seen what his plan is yet.