Politics House to vote next week on Democratic drug pricing bill

21:03  05 december  2019
21:03  05 december  2019 Source:   washingtonexaminer.com

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Democrats announced Thursday morning the House will vote next week on House Speaker Nancy Pelosi’s Lower Drug Costs Now Act, recently renamed to honor the late Maryland Rep. Elijah Cummings.

Bobby Scott, Steny Hoyer, Nancy Pelosi looking at the camera© Provided by Washington Examiner

The bill would allow the government to negotiate drug prices directly with pharmaceutical companies in the hopes of lowering prices of the most expensive medications, including insulin. Pelosi’s bill would allow negotiations for up to 250 drugs. The bill would also penalize drug companies that refuse to come to the negotiating table.

“We have now received enough guidance from [the Congressional Budget Office] to bring the Lower Drug Costs Now Act to the Floor and to reinvest its savings in one of the most transformational improvements to Medicare since its creation,” Pelosi and other Democrats said in a statement.

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The bill, which the pharmaceutical industry slammed the proposal as "radical" when Pelosi introduced it in September, would cap what Medicare beneficiaries pay out of pocket for prescription drugs at $2,000 per year and would force drug companies to give rebates to Medicare if they increase their prices above inflation rates.

Stephen Ubl, president and CEO of the Pharmaceutical Research and Manufacturers of America, said the plan would threaten medical innovation. A recent White House report asserted that the bill would keep about 100 drugs from entering the market and thus result in “worse health outcomes” and cost $1 trillion in a decade. The nonpartisan Congressional Budget Office estimates that the bill would keep eight to 15 drugs from entering the market over the next decade and would save the government $345 billion over that same period.

House passes sweeping Pelosi bill to lower drug prices .
The House on Thursday passed a sweeping bill aimed at lowering prescription drug prices, a step toward a long-held Democratic goal that was met with sharp Republican resistance.The bill passed on a largely party-line vote of 230-192. The measure, which would allow the government to negotiate lower prices for prescription drugs, is one of House Democrats' top priorities and is expected to be touted by vulnerable Democrats up for reelection next year. require(["medianetNativeAdOnArticle"], function (medianetNativeAdOnArticle) { medianetNativeAdOnArticle.

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