In what some may call a quixotic move, a group of Democratic lawmakers on Wednesday will introduce a bill that gives the federal government the authority to negotiate drug prices for Medicare.

The bill would allow formulary changes to generate more competition among companies that want preferred coverage for their medicines and also establish so-called fallback prices. These would allow the Department of Health and Human Services to pay what other countries or government agencies, such as the Department of Veterans Affairs, pay for a medicine if negotiations fail.

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