Drug Industry Influence Keeps Medicare Prescription Costs High

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The soaring price of prescription drugs has been an ongoing battle for both politicians and patients alike. Just look back to earlier this year, when EpiPen prices skyrocketed to more than $600 each and sparked calls for congressional hearings. On the campaign trail, both Donald Trump and Hillary Clinton have called for drug price negotiation, specifically for Medicare patients.

Now a new investigation into Medicare Part D — a program passed by Congress in 2003 to help seniors buy prescription drugs — has uncovered what's keeping drug prices high. Turns out it's due to an overwhelming influence by the drug industry, and a restriction that tasks insurance companies with managing the costs.

Stuart Silverstein is an assistant editor for FairWarning, a nonprofit investigative news organization based in Pasadena, California, that focuses on public health, safety, and environmental issues. He joins The Takeaway to discuss his findings.