Biden releases prescription drug plan that may let authorities negotiate drug costs

The Biden administration launched a prescription drug plan on Thursday that backs congressional Democrats’ push to let Medicare negotiate drug costs.

President Joe Biden’s plan is brief on the specifics about how the federal authorities would negotiate costs. Laws superior by Home Democrats would empower the Division of Well being and Human Companies to barter costs for the 125 medication that account for the best spending underneath Medicare. The value for every drug wouldn’t be allowed to exceed 120% of the common worth paid by international locations resembling Canada, Germany, and the UK.


The Biden plan additionally promotes administrative actions that may very well be enabled by congressional laws. These actions embrace new funding for drug analysis and permitting the federal authorities to check linking reimbursement for medication based mostly on the scientific worth they supply to sufferers.

It additionally would restrict drugmakers’ potential to hike costs on current medication, cap out-of-pocket prices in Medicare Half D, and remove regulatory limitations to producing generic medication and biosimilars.

“The Biden-Harris Administration stays dedicated to creating well being care extra reasonably priced for American households, and this Plan outlines one key method we are going to try this,” HHS Secretary Xavier Becerra mentioned in a press release.

However opposition is already forming. Pharmaceutical corporations and Republicans are against letting Medicare negotiate drug costs.

“It’s actually a smokescreen for implementing new authorities worth controls,” David Ricks, the chairman and chief govt of Eli Lilly, advised the Wall Avenue Journal. “We can’t and won’t help insurance policies that damage affected person entry.”

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Letting the federal government negotiate drug costs has additionally drawn opposition from 10 Home Democrats, who signed a letter to Home Speaker Nancy Pelosi in Might warning that in different nations that repair drug costs, “efficient most cancers therapies is probably not realized by the affected person neighborhood for an prolonged time period. There’s a steadiness between innovation and affordability.”

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