Recently, American pharmaceutical executives were before the Senate Finance Committee to explain why drug prices are so much higher in America than elsewhere.

I’m guessing most on the committee already knew the answer: American corporate greed.

What some on the committee may not realize is that Americans are fed up and demand corrective action.

One concrete thing our government can do is to allow Medicare authority to negotiate drug prices. Without this authority, the pharmaceutical industry has a green light to overcharge us. Americans should not have to go to Canada or Mexico to buy their life-saving drugs.

Another is to prevent the practice of drug companies making minute changes to their drugs for the purpose of extending their patent and preserving their cash cow. This tactic prevents less expensive generic drugs from being marketed.

Lobbyists for the drug industry will argue that their companies must recoup research and development costs. If so, why are the exact same drugs so much cheaper elsewhere? And why do the CEOs of these big pharmaceutical companies make in excess of $20 million yearly? The hard truth is that aging Americans are sitting ducks for these greedy drug companies. The sadder truth is that our elected leaders in Washington, D.C., are not protecting us. 

Bob Holliday, Bloomington

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