Grassley, Ernst co-sponsor prescription drug bill

WASHINGTON, D.C. (KCRG) -- Iowa's Senators say voters consistently talk to them about the rising cost of prescription drugs. So Senators Joni Ernst and Chuck Grassley are working on bills to make these drugs more affordable.

Grassley has pushed for legislation to make commercials include the costs of drugs. The Department of Health and Human Services decided to require drug makers to do this. But on Monday, a federal judge said the department didn't have that authority. Grassley says he's discouraged, but he's going to keep pushing for legislation to make price information more public.

“We're going to try to make this law, so it's firmly in the law that pharmaceutical companies have to let you know how much the drug is going to cost,” Grassley said.

Grassley and Ernst are also working on a bill together that would direct the Federal Trade Commission to examine anti-competitive behavior, like mergers, in the prescription drug market. And Ernst is working on a bill that would eliminate loopholes in the drug patenting process and could eventually make generic drugs more available.

"We, here in Congress, have a responsibility to take action, to give folks a voice, and to make sure no family is ever forced to choose between making a mortgage payment and purchasing their medications," Ernst said.

Ernst and Grassley say the cost of prescription drugs comes up at almost every town hall they hold.