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February 04, 2020

Congressman Trone frustrated by inaction on lowering prescription drug costs

Credit: WDVM, Steven Cohen

HAGERSTOWN, Md. (WDVM) — Congressman David Trone (D-Md.) met with Hagerstown area constituents on federal programs designed for the “boomer generation,” a growing segment of the elderly population across the country.

At the main branch of the Washington County Public Library, Trone explained that he is committed to keeping the Social Security trust fund solvent and capping the tax rate seniors pay under the program.

Joining him at the Tuesday forum were representatives of the Social Security Administration, the Washington County Council on Again, AARP and consumer groups.

Trone said he is especially frustrated because the system for drug pricing places senior citizens at a disadvantage. As a successful businessman prior to his 2018 election to Congress, he believes that the market for prescription medicine should be competitively bid and not structured by federal mandates which drive up costs.

The freshman lawmaker says he is paying careful attention to the presidential address Tuesday night in hopes the administration will propose reforms to help seniors afford their medication.

Joining Trone at the forum for seniors was Dr. Douglas Spotts with the Meritus Health System in Hagerstown. He remarked that in a quarter century working with pharmacists to prescribe medications for his patients, the obstacles to simplifying the pricing markets for medications has been overly complicated. He is hopeful the congressman can help simplify the affordability of pharmaceuticals.