Senators urge action to block drastic drug price hikes

WASHINGTON (AP) — Two senators are urging Congress to block companies from cornering the market on old, off-patent drugs and hiking their prices many times over.

Republican Susan Collins of Maine and Democrat Claire McCaskill of Missouri on Wednesday released findings from a year-long investigation into companies including Turing Pharmaceuticals, which generated national outrage after increasing the price of a decades-old drug by more than 700 percent.

The congressional report comes as lawmakers and pharmaceutical executives try to gauge President-elect Donald Trump’s interest in government interventions to curb rising drug prices, a leading health care concern among U.S. patients.

Most pharmaceutical companies increase prices annually as a matter of doing business. But drastic price increases by Turing, Valeant Pharmaceuticals and several other drugmakers have turned drug pricing into a national issue.