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WASHINGTON — House Speaker Nancy Pelosi’s plan to lower drug costs is dramatically more aggressive than expected, according to copies shared with STAT by multiple lobbyists.

The plan is sure to please House progressives who have agitated for bold policy on drug prices but, at least as drafted, has almost no chance of winning conservative support. The plan allows the federal government to negotiate the price of 250 medicines and forces drug makers to offer those prices commercially. It appears to abandon a controversial proposal to use third-party arbitration for negotiating leverage. It would also dramatically alter the way Medicare divides responsibility for drug costs between pharmaceutical companies, insurers, and taxpayers.

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  • Complexity is killing us. Does this bill reduce complexity? Will this bill force PBMs and insurance companies stop creating complex schemes to shift the high cost of medications to the backs of sick people? Will this stop the practice of building a complex patent wall around profitable drugs so that drug companies may continue to charge whatever they want for medications? Would direct negotiation and regulation of drug prices with a penalty of revoking patents for non-compliance be more effective?

  • Nancy’s plan will not work ….. The only plan that will work is passing legislation to govern the PBM’s.
    Why doesn’t anyone in Washington see that this is where the problem is ?… Well that’s easy to see.. PBM’s
    have billions of dollars… what’s the big deal if they threw a few 100 million towards a legislators champagne fund. Not that I’m saying this happens… hehehehe !!! It’s amazing that NO one in Washington has the balls
    to stand up to these PBM’s. Until that day happens, the high price of drugs will never change !!

    • Nonsense! PBMs may be a slice of the problem, but Pharma/drug manufacturers are primarily responsible for high drug prices. I like the idea of rolling back price hikes for existing drugs since 2016 beyond the inflation rate. This is the biggest way Pharma makes its money, lately.

  • In my new book, “Common Sense Health Policy for Common Sense Americans (and Presidential Candidates),” I plead for sanity and stress that it’s time to put away unworkable soundbite solutions. I sent copies to every member of Congress. Reviewing H.R. 3 (the new price negotiation bill), it’s clear that no one (at least on the majority side) has read it. The bill is a hit parade of bad ideas. See full comments here:

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