Ohio Sen. Sherrod Brown introduces prescription drug cost bill

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WASHINGTON, D.C.-(WTAP, Gray TV bureau) Ohio Sen. Sherrod Brown and Texas Congressman Lloyd Doggett announced a bill they hope will reduce the cost of prescription drugs.

The bill, announced Thursday, would authorize the U.S. Secretary of Health and Human Services to negotiate drug prices with pharmaceutical companies.

It also intends to penalize drug companies found to have engaged in price gouging without cause.

"There's simply no reason, year after year after year," Brown said, "we can't enact this, move it through the House, put the pressure on (Republican Senate leader) Mitch McConnell, so that Senate Republicans, just for a fleeting moment, turn their back on the drug industry and fight for the American public."

Brown and Doggett say, if drug companies refuse to negotiate, the HHS secretary could issue a license to another company willing and able to produce the medication as a lower-priced generic drug.