Senators grill pharmaceutical CEOs about high drug prices

WASHINGTON (AP) — The CEOs of seven major pharmaceutical companies are facing a hostile grilling from senators over high prescription drug prices that are a drain Medicare and Medicaid and a burden to millions of Americans.

The companies have collected tens of billions of dollars from government programs in recent years for brand-name medications to treat everything from high cholesterol to rheumatoid arthritis, cancer to HIV infection. List prices for top drugs keep rising.

The pharmaceutical industry is one of the most powerful lobbies in Washington, but Tuesday’s Finance Committee hearing marks a change as lawmakers and President Donald Trump appear to be moving toward curbing costs.

Committee Chairman Charles Grassley of Iowa says Congress wants answers on why prices are so high.

The CEOs say prices reflect investment in research and development.