Consumer advocates warn that a growing number of Americans are unable to afford their prescription drugs. The pharmaceutical industry says drug prices reflect the research and development (R&D) costs of finding and testing new, lifesaving treatments. But critics contend drugmakers receive government funding for much of their R&D work and that they are unfairly extending patents in order to keep lower-cost generic medicines from entering the market. Drugmakers pin the blame on insurance companies, which they say are shifting more and more costs onto patients through higher deductibles and copays, and on middlemen known as pharmacy benefit managers who negotiate lower drug prices but often fail to pass on the savings to consumers. To try to reduce drug costs, members of Congress have introduced bipartisan ...

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