Skip to Main Content

A version of this article first ran in D.C. Diagnosis, STAT’s weekly newsletter about the politics and policy of health and medicine. Sign up here to receive it in your inbox.

WASHINGTON — Here in the nation’s capital, the consensus is that the coronavirus pandemic has quashed all hope of serious drug pricing reform, at least for the foreseeable future. But states around the country have enacted significant reforms over the last month, even while they were dealing with a crisis.


Drug pricing advocates were dealt a serious blow in March when Congress wrapped the majority of its 2020 health care work into a coronavirus relief package, and included no mention of drug pricing at all. It was the unceremonious end to nearly a year of gridlock that kept Congress from passing a bipartisan drug pricing package championed by Sens. Ron Wyden (D-Ore.) and Chuck Grassley (R-Iowa) and members of the Trump White House. Now, Capitol Hill is virtually shuttered until at least May, and there’s little hope drug pricing reform will come up until after the November election.

Unlock this article by subscribing to STAT+ and enjoy your first 30 days free!