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WASHINGTON — House Democrats on Thursday passed sweeping legislation to lower prescription drug prices, marking the latest volley in a health care debate that has animated progressives, Republican lawmakers, pharmaceutical industry groups, and the Trump administration throughout the year. With the GOP-majority Senate certain to ignore Democrats’ bill, however, the high-stakes showdown over drug prices is far from over.

Democrats project that their bill, which would require Medicare to negotiate the price of between 50 and 250 prescription drugs, would lower consumer drug spending by 55%, save the federal government nearly $400 billion, and slash drug industry revenues by $1 trillion in the coming decade. Democrats plan to invest those funds in a historic Medicare expansion that would allow the program to fund hearing, vision, and dental benefits for the first time.


President Trump has vowed he would veto the bill, which passed on a 230-192 vote, largely along party lines. The Senate is still considering a separate, less aggressive bipartisan drug pricing package.

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  • It would put a crimp in their research and development? I know what they mean. My Fiancee just paid 700 dollars for a tube of prescription ointment which put a crimp in her plans to do anything more than that. I don’t mean to be snarky. But their newly researched and developed drugs are essentially un-affordable as it it.

  • Arsh:

    Sorry to say that you are from Mars. There is non need to get personal.
    On Earth the debate about PBMs is going on for ever. If you claim PBMs to be transparent, then please name and authenticate them.
    You have no clue what your drugs cost as you just pay the co-pay. A reality check in the linked might help.
    Cheers and have a wonderful happy celestial New Year.

  • They will force lower prices, steal the claimed $400B in savings to transfer to more medical spending and do nothing to reduce cost. Once again they are counting on “we the people” to be ignorant of the unintended consequences for
    employment and innovation. This will not pass, but it reveals a lot.

  • We have blames Pharma for prices. However, the real culprit are PBMs.
    In the linked blog one can see the facts of how US population gets taken for a ride.
    In the name of facilitation, PBMs have lined their pockets with GOLD and also lined pockets of our legally corrupt legislators.
    It is be crying shame if our legislators do not do something useful.

  • Our legislators still don’t get it! Unless the PBM’s ,(who are really the gatekeepers as to who gets paid, and how much they get paid) are governed and provide total transparency as to where the money is going,Drug prices will never go down! Why would we need PBM’s if the government is going to negotiate drug prices? All this will do is give the PBM’s another avenue to steal more money
    than they’re doing now. It will be like another spread pricing shell game. The price the government
    will negotiate will NOT be the amount paid to the pharmacy. Example: Let’s say the government
    negotiates a price of $1.00/tablet for drug ABC. This tablet cost the pharmacy .80 cents. The PBM
    will reimburse the pharmacy .60 cents and keep the .40 cent spread AND the pharmacy will loose money on the prescription. Dealing with the PBM’s is like the wild west! There are no laws and they do whatever they want !!!!!!!

    • Agree, there is no need for PBMs if government negotiates prices. This is why here in Australia, where our federal government negotiates prices for ALL drugs on the national formulary (and let’s forget for the moment the universal health insurance aspect), there are no PBMs. And pharmacies receive a fee (around $5) every time a prescription is filled. No middle man.
      All this sabre rattling from Pharma really shows where their interests lie – with shareholders and obscene salaries and bonuses.

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