Senator Asks Drug Companies to Explain High Prices

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Senator Herb Kohl (D), chair of the Special Committee on Aging, sent letters to AstraZeneca, GlaxoSmithKline, Eli Lilly, Novartis, Pfizer, and Sanofi-Aventis asking them to explain why Americans on average pay twice as much as people in other industrialized countries for prescription drugs, according to Reuters report. The letter comes at a time when the drug companies are under attack from some Democrats involved in health care reform.
In response to the letter Eli Lilly said drug prices were lower in other countries for various reasons including currency value, market dynamics or government price controls. Pfizer said it stands behind the value of its drugs and added that the company provides free or discounted medicines to uninsured and other needy patients. Other companies said they were reviewing the letter or did not want to comment.

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