Feb 10, 2020 3:32 PM

Kerpen: Prescription drug policy is election issue

Posted Feb 10, 2020 3:32 PM
Phil Kerpen is with American Commitment
Phil Kerpen is with American Commitment

By NICK GOSNELL, Hutch Post

HUTCHINSON — As Congress looks for ways to reduce prescription drug prices, it's important for voters in Kansas to ask those running to represent them what they will do to help.

"The problem with government stepping in and sort of arbitrarily imposing lower prices is, it feels good in the near term for products that already exist," said Phil Kerpen with American Commitment. "They become less expensive, but it completely destroys the economics of developing new cures."

It's not the cost of the second pill and beyond, it's the cost of the first pill that is the issue.

"That first pill, the first legally sold pill after you get all the FDA approvals, all the research has been done and all the regulatory compliance and so forth, the first pill costs $2.5 billion," Kerpen said. "The second pill costs $1. You can't say, we're going to set prices to what it costs you to make that second pill or tenth pill or millionth pill, because if you do that, you're not going to get another first pill."

As candidates come through running for the U.S. Senate seat being vacated by Pat Roberts, or to replace First District Congressman Roger Marshall, Kerpen believes Kansans should ask them some important questions.

"I think we need to ask them what the strategy is to get something meaningful done to lower drug prices that does not undermine the incentive for research and development in bringing new cures to market," Kerpen said. "If you guys don't deliver something, as Republicans, we're going to end up with the worst possible outcome here, which is the Nancy Pelosi bill, because people are not going to tolerate prices being where they are."

Prescription drug prices have been a big issue in many Congressional races across the country and it's one of the areas where there is consensus between both parties that a solution is needed.

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Feb 10, 2020 3:32 PM
Jury: Kansas man guilty of crack cocaine distribution
Johnson photo Wyandotte Co.

KANSAS CITY, KAN. – A federal jury convicted a Kansas man from  on drug and firearm charges, according to U.S. Attorney Stephen McAllister.

Larry D. Johnson, 33, Kansas City, Kan., was convicted February 7, on one count of possession with intent to distribute crack cocaine, one count of possession of a firearm in furtherance of drug trafficking and one count of unlawful possession of a firearm by a felon.

The crimes were alleged to have occurred May 15, 2017, in Wyandotte County, Kansas.

Sentencing is set for May 7. The defendant could face a penalty of up to 20 years in federal prison and a fine up to $1 million on the drug charge, not less than five years and a fine up to $250,000 on the charge of using a firearm in furtherance of drug trafficking, and up to 10 years and a fine up to $250,000 on the other firearm charge.