Big pharma defends rising cost of drugs, lawmakers say they are gaming the system

In a rare show of bipartisan consensus, Republican and Democratic senators on Tuesday grilled seven top executives from the world's biggest drugmakers on why prices remain historically high.

The most heated exchanges came from Democratic Sens. Ron Wyden and Sen. Maggie Hassan, with several Republicans signaling they, too, were prepared to regulate the industry if it didn't agree to drive down prices.

The testimony from several drug industry CEOs is the first of its kind following President Donald Trump's promise last year that the industry would agree to "massive" pricing cuts. Appearing before the Senate Finance Committee were the CEOs of AbbVie, AstraZeneca, Bristol-Myers Squibb, Pfizer and Sanofi, and a top executive for Johnson & Johnson.
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