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    (CNN)Congress is poised to make the biggest changes to Medicare in nearly two decades.The Democrats' health care and climate package, which the House is expected to take up on Friday after the Senate passed it on Sunday, aims to lower drug prices in Medicare, which would save both senior citizens and the federal government money.The bill would allow Medicare to negotiate the price of certain prescription drugs for the first time and would limit the growth of drug costs. And it would cap how much Medicare enrollees have to pay for certain medications, including insulin. Are you a senior citizen dealing with high drug costs? Share your story with CNNThe effort, however, is much narrower than lawmakers had proposed in the past and largely helps only some seniors and people with disabilities enrolled in Medicare, even though hefty drug costs is a major concern for most Americans.Fewer drugs would be subject to negotiation than Democrats had previously envisioned, and the reduced prices would not be available to the private insurance market as they had hoped. Read MoreAlso, the caps on...
    Yuri Gripas/CNP/Zuma Facts matter: Sign up for the free Mother Jones Daily newsletter. Support our nonprofit reporting. Subscribe to our print magazine.We may not be slashing child poverty or doing much of anything to counter the climate crisis, but at least we can (probably) count on lower prescription drug prices, thanks to one of the few provisions of the slimmed-down Build Back Better plan that Congress looks likely to soon pass. According to reports, Democrats have the votes to get through a very slimmed down version of BBB that would lower both prescription drug prices and Affordable Care Act premiums. The bill includes a number of provisions that would reduce costs for people on Medicare, the government health insurance program for people 65 and older and those with certain disabilities.  It would allow Medicare to negotiate the prices it pays prescription drug manufacturers; cap out-of-pocket drug costs for Medicare recipients at $2,000; and increase the subsidies that low-income seniors can receive to pay for prescription drugs. It would also renew the enhanced ACA coverage subsidies included in the 2021 American...
    The North Carolina Republican is running for Senate as a 'liberal agenda crusher.' Rep. Ted Budd, who recently won the Republican nomination to run in November for the North Carolina Senate seat being vacated by retiring incumbent Republican Richard Burr, voted in 2019 against H.R. 3, the Elijah E. Cummings Lower Drug Costs Now Act, which would have lowered the cost of prescription drugs. Within days of that vote, he had received thousands of dollars from pharmaceutical industry political action committees. The 2019 Elijah E. Cummings Lower Drug Costs Now Act was a proposal by congressional Democrats to bring down the cost of prescription drugs and insulin for millions of Americans. It would allow the federal government to negotiate lower prices in bulk for several of the most commonly used drugs through the Medicare system, cap out-of-pocket medicine costs for Medicare beneficiaries, and make cheaper therapeutics available to people with private insurance plans. According to a 2021 analysis by the Center for American Progress, such a plan would save individuals, businesses, and the federal government billions of dollars. The House...
    Insulin cost reform is absent from a new Senate Democratic measure for lowering drug prices, an omission that could spell trouble for the embattled party come November. Democrats unveiled a set of policy proposals meant to lower the cost of prescription drugs, the centerpiece of which is a long-sought proposal to allow Medicare to negotiate prices for some medications directly with pharmaceutical companies. The proposal’s contents resemble those in drug-pricing legislation passed by the Democrat-led House, but it lacks language included in the lower chamber’s bill that would cap insulin prices for diabetics at $35 a month. FDA TO KEEP FOREIGN BABY FORMULA MAKERS IN MARKET TO ADDRESS SHORTAGES The $35 cap was first proposed in the Affordable Insulin Now Act introduced by Sen. Raphael Warnock (D-GA), which was then absorbed into a bill from Sens. Jeanne Shaheen (D-NH) and Susan Collins (R-ME). The newly dubbed INSULIN Act would, in addition to capping out-of-pocket insulin costs, entice insulin manufacturers to reduce list prices to 2021 net Medicare rates by ensuring that pharmacy benefit managers are blocked from...
    A new poll shows strong support for a compromise Build Back Better package. President Joe Biden and congressional Democrats are still trying to work out an agreement on a compromise Build Back Better investment package. A new poll shows the vast majority of Americans want them to pass its key components. The new survey, released Wednesday by the political advocacy groups Data for Progress and Invest in America, found that likely voters strongly back legislation to lower health insurance premiums and prescription drug copays and invest in clean energy. Those polled backed such a bill by a 75%-17% margin; Republicans supported it 65%-25%. Biden proposed these and other human infrastructure investments as part of his Build Back Better framework in October. His $1.75 trillion plan would have paid for the new spending by raising taxes on those earning $400,000 or more and cracking down on wealthy tax cheats. It passed the House in November — over unanimous GOP opposition — but stalled in the Senate after every Republican opposed it and moderate Sen. Joe Manchin (D-WV) objected to its price...
    DELTA TOWNSHIP, Mich. (AP) — Gov. Gretchen Whitmer on Wednesday signed bipartisan bills into law that are designed to reduce prescription drug costs by regulating pharmacy benefit managers that oversee coverage for employers, insurers and others. Parts of the laws took effect immediately while others, including licensing requirements and bans on “spread pricing” and “gag clauses,” begin in 2024. READ MORE: Woman From Macomb County Wins $1.7 Million Lucky 7’s Fast Cash JackpotWhitmer said the changes, which were recommended by a task force she created in 2020, will improve transparency and ensure that Michigan residents “have access to all the information about the back-end cost and profit of their prescription medication. This will help lower inflated prices.” She signed the legislation at a Lansing-area Meijer where she was joined by Republican and Democratic lawmakers. Three pharmacy benefits managers, or PBMs, dominate the U.S. market: CVS Caremark, Express Scripts and OptumRx. They are third-party administrators that set up lists of covered drugs, determine copays, negotiate rebates for some drugs to help offset high initial or list prices, and do other behind-the-scenes...
    by Scott McClallen   The Michigan Senate approved a bipartisan plan to reduce prescription drug prices in the state. House Bill 4348 aims to save patients money by regulating pharmacy benefit managers (PBMs) who serve as facilitators between health plans, drug manufacturers and pharmacists. The plan aims to require individuals seeking PBM licensure to apply to the Director of the Department of Insurance and Financial Services (DIFS). The DFIS would be allowed to refuse to issue a PBM license for a past licensure revocation or if the PBM isn’t financially viable. Applicants would have to apply to the DIFS director to renew licensure and pay regular fees. Rep. John Damoose, R-Harbor Springs, blamed PBMs for rising drug prices, saying they add fees retroactively, limit purchases and hike prices. However, 40-year high inflation also likely contributes. “Skyrocketing drug prices are an explosive problem for Michigan patients,” Damoose said in a statement. “This plan will help reduce prices for families by reining in costly, behind-the-scenes maneuvers by pharmaceutical middlemen.” The plan aims to stop “spread pricing” – PBMs charging wildly different prices for the same...
    President BidenJoe BidenBillie Eilish meets with Biden at the White House Marjorie Taylor Greene roasted for 'gazpacho police' remark Biden talks energy and security with Saudi King Salman MORE on Thursday called on the Senate to pass his currently-stalled Build Back Better legislation, touting that it would lower prescription drug prices, a popular issue ahead of the midterm elections. Biden traveled to the Virginia district of vulnerable Democratic Rep. Abigail Spanberger, saying that drug prices are “outrageously expensive” and calling for action. “In my Build Back Better legislation that with Abigail's leadership passed the House of Representatives, we can do that,” he said. “Now we just have to get it through the United States Senate, and we're close.”  The Build Back Better package is currently stuck in the Senate, though, given objections from Sen. Joe ManchinJoe ManchinSanders calls on Democrats to bring up drug pricing bill in Senate Climate will define Biden's legacy Biden meets with utility executives in push for spending agenda MORE (D-W.Va.). There has been some talk of starting fresh on a revised proposal that could have a different name, but Biden...
    As many people express concern over high drug prices, an increasing number of companies have emerged claiming to be their champions against Big Pharma. Yet pharmacy benefit managers, also known as PBMs, who are tasked with negotiating drug prices with drug manufacturers, have faced bipartisan accusations that they are the ones who contribute to increased list prices for important drugs. PBMs have pushed back against these accusations. MARK CUBAN LAUNCHES 'RADICALLY TRANSPARENT' ONLINE PHARMACY “There’s a lot of finger-pointing going on, but there’s plenty of blame to go around,” Robin Feldman, professor at UC Hastings College of Law, told the Washington Examiner. “Really, everyone is feeding at the trough, and consumers and taxpayers are paying the bill on all of these things.” Like many other aspects of the U.S. healthcare system, prescription drugs have wide variations in pricing: Different people pay different prices for the same product or service because of separate deals negotiated in their drug plans. Pharmaceutical companies typically issue a list price. Consumers then purchase a healthcare plan that usually has a...
    Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer announced Tuesday that Democrats reached an agreement to lower the price of prescription drugs, a key sticking point in their $1.75 trillion social spending package. “I’m pleased to announce that an agreement has been reached to lower prescription drug prices for seniors and families in the Build Back Better legislation,” Schumer told reporters after a Democratic caucus meeting Tuesday afternoon. “Fixing prescription drug pricing has consistently been a top issue for Americans, year after year, including the vast majority of both Democrats and Republicans.” “I’ve been working night and day with Senate and House Dems and the White House to make progress on lowering prescription drug costs,” Schumer later added. “And now we can announce that with this deal — Build Back Better will finally lower the costs of prescription drugs for seniors, families, & more.” Though the plan’s full details were not immediately available, it was endorsed by Arizona Sen. Kyrsten Sinema, a centrist Democrat who had previously held out on efforts to lower prices. “[Sinema] welcomes a new agreement on a historic, transformative...
    WASHINGTON (AP) — Democrats reached agreement Tuesday on a deal to lower prescription drug costs for older people, capping out-of-pocket Medicare costs at $2,000 and reducing the price of insulin, salvaging a campaign promise as part of President Joe Biden’s $1.75 trillion domestic policy proposal. Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer announced the agreement. He acknowledged it’s not as sweeping as Democrats had hoped for, but a compromise struck with one key holdout Democrat, Sen. Kyrsten Sinema, as the party moves closer to wrapping up negotiations on Biden’s big package. “It’s not everything we all want. Many of us would have wanted to go much further, but it’s a big step in helping the American people deal with the price of drugs,” Schumer said at the Capitol. Sinema’s office issued a statement saying the senator “welcomes a new agreement on a historic, transformative Medicare drug negotiation plan that will reduce out-of-pocket costs for seniors.” Democrats are rushing to overcome party battles and finish a final draft of Biden’s big plan. House Speaker Nancy Pelosi said privately she expects to wrap up...
    Democratic lawmakers have reached a deal on legislation to lower prescription drug prices to be included in President BidenJoe BidenBiden administration takes aim at methane emissions McConnell blasts potential payments to separated migrant families Poll: 50 percent of Republicans don't believe their vote will be counted accurately MORE's social spending package, Senate Majority Leader Chuck SchumerChuck SchumerDemocrats face ire of women over loss of paid leave Ocasio-Cortez presses Biden on student debt: 'Doesn't need Manchin's permission for that' 535 'presidents' with veto power: Why budget deal remains elusive MORE (D-N.Y.) announced Tuesday.   The agreement is less far-reaching than earlier Democratic proposals, but still represents progress on an issue the party has campaigned on for years.   The agreement would allow Medicare to negotiate drug prices in limited instances, prevent drug companies from raising prices faster than inflation, and cap out of pocket costs for seniors on Medicare at $2,000 per year.   DEVELOPING Tags Chuck Schumer Joe Biden
    A group of 15 vulnerable House Democrats is calling on leadership to include a measure to lower prescription drug prices in President BidenJoe BidenWhite House unveils strategy for 2050 net-zero goal Southwest investigating report pilot said 'Let's go Brandon' on flight House Rules Committee won't meet Monday on reconciliation package MORE’s social spending bill, as negotiations on the issue intensify.  The letter, led by Rep. Angie Craig (D-Minn.), cites Democrats’ repeated campaign promises to lower the cost of drugs.  “As majority-makers in competitive districts, we promised our constituents that we would come to Washington to fight on their behalf for lower drug prices,” the lawmakers write. “We cannot turn back now on our promise to the American people. We urge you in the strongest terms possible to include legislative language in the Build Back Better Act that will be voted on by the full House to accomplish this.” Provisions to lower drug prices were left out of the framework of the Build Back Better package that the White House unveiled last week. But there is now a scramble to get...
    Sen. Bernie Sanders insisted that the Senate can set out a framework for a reconciliation bill that would receive approval from all 50 Democrat senators despite holdouts within the party.  Sanders, I-Vt., serves as chairman of the Budget Committee, which has placed him in the prime position of negotiation between the disparate elements in the Democrat party. Notable holdouts Sen. Joe Manchin, D-W.Va., and Sen. Krysten Sinema, D-Ariz., have voiced specific demands that stand at odds with major elements of the bill.  However, Sanders has pressed the need to focus on the agenda of the bill – specifically, the impact it could have on drug prices, a topic the senator has rallied against for years.  SUPREME COURT TO HEAR FIRST OF TWO APPEALS ON ABORTION RIGHTS, WITH ARGUMENTS MONDAY OVER TEXAS' SIX-WEEK BAN "This is not about Senator Sinema or Senator Manchin," Sanders told "State of the Union" host Dana Bash. "It’s about 50 senators and the outrage."  "Last year, the top CEOs made hundreds and hundreds of millions of dollars in outrageous levels of compensation," Sanders said, echoing the...
    Sen. Bob Menendez, D-N.J., one of the top recipients of campaign contributions from the pharmaceutical industry, said last week that he won't support a House plan to allow Medicare to negotiate lower drug costs as part of President Biden's Build Back Better plan. Menendez told NBC News' Sahil Kapur last week that he is a "no" on H.R. 3, a longtime Democratic priority that was advanced earlier this year by the House Ways and Means Committee. The bill would save $456 billion over the next decade, according to the Congressional Budget Office, which Democrats hope to use to pay for other priorities in the bill like expanding Medicare coverage and health care access. Menendez told Salon on Friday that the House bill "does not currently have a pathway to pass the House of Representatives," where Democrats hold a razor-thin majority. He did not rule out supporting legislation to allow Medicare to negotiate drug prices and is waiting to see the plan being drafted by Senate Finance Chairman Ron Wyden, D-Ore., who announced that he was working on a compromise solution...
    Senate Budget Committee Chairman Bernie SandersBernie SandersUnder pressure, Democrats cut back spending The Memo: Cuts to big bill vex Democrats Democrats say they're committed to reducing emissions in Biden plan MORE (I-Vt.) on Thursday expressed exasperation over Sen. Kyrsten SinemaKyrsten SinemaPolice recommend charges against four over Sinema bathroom protest K Street revenues boom On The Money — Democrats eye tough choices as deadline looms MORE’s (D-Ariz.) opposition to raising taxes and empowering Medicare to negotiate lowering prescription drug prices amid intraparty debates on the multitrillion-dollar budget reconciliation package. Asked if he was surprised by Sinema’s opposition to raising corporate taxes, which poses a major obstacle to a deal on the legislation, Sanders replied: “I am surprised that there is anybody in the United States Senate not prepared to do what the American people want, and that is demand that the wealthiest people in this country start paying their fair share of taxes and that we end all of the tax loopholes that the wealthy enjoy. “I am very surprised that anybody would put themselves in that position,” he added. Sanders...
    Arizona Democratic Sen. Kyrsten Sinema is reportedly opposed to her party’s proposed drug pricing reforms, joining multiple House Democrats who have already objected to it and creating another obstacle to the long-sought priority becoming law. The reforms center around allowing Medicare to negotiate drug prices with pharmaceutical companies, potentially saving the program billions of dollars which could be used to expand dental, vision and hearing coverage. Sinema told the White House that she opposes both the House and Senate proposals, and she will not support a compromise plan pitched by House moderates that allows only certain drugs to be negotiated, Politico reported. “As she committed, Kyrsten is working directly in good faith with her colleagues and President Biden on the proposed budget reconciliation package,” John LaBombard, a Sinema spokesperson, told Politico. “Given the size and scope of the proposal, while those discussions are ongoing we are not offering detailed comment on any one proposed piece of the package.” Sinema is not the only Democrat on record opposing the reforms. In the House, Reps. Kurt Schrader, Kathleen Rice and Scott Peters voted...
    Update: The House Energy and Commerce Committee on Wednesday failed to adopt Democrats' plan to let Medicare broadly negotiate prescription drug prices after three Democrats—Reps. Kathleen Rice of New York, Kurt Schrader of Oregon, and Scott Peters of California—voted no. A spokesperson for House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) signaled in response to the vote that the Democratic leadership will still aim to include the Medicare negotiation proposal in the final budget reconciliation package. Earlier: Progressive advocacy groups on Wednesday sought to dial up the pressure on three House Democrats who are opposing a key element of their own party's plan to lower prescription drug prices, potentially imperiling one of the most popular components of the emerging reconciliation package. Social Security Works, Public Citizen, and other organizations are working to drive calls to the congressional offices of Reps. Kathleen Rice (D-N.Y.), Kurt Schrader (D-Ore.), and Scott Peters (D-Calif.), House Energy and Commerce Committee members who announced Tuesday that they are against allowing Medicare to broadly negotiate prescription drug prices with pharmaceutical companies. The three Democrats' opposition to the plan—which is resoundingly...
    House Democrats failed to advance a consequential drug price negotiation measure out of committee on Wednesday after three centrists opposed the liberal agenda item. HOUSE DRUG PRICING MEASURE IN TROUBLE AS THREE DEMOCRATS ANNOUNCE OPPOSITION Scott Peters of California and Kurt Schrader of Oregon, who unveiled rival legislation Tuesday, voted against the measure, as did New York Democrat Susan Rice. With all Republicans voting no, the final vote was 29-29. The proposal was meant to be a key provision within the broader partisan Democrat multi-trillion-dollar infrastructure and social welfare reconciliation bill. Energy and Commerce Committee Chairman Frank Pallone pleaded with members on the fence to cast a vote in favor of advancing the proposal, which would give the federal government negotiating power with drug manufacturers for the highest priced and most commonly used prescription drugs, including insulin. “I promise that your voices will be heard, either with a seat at the table or through me, and ultimately we all want the same things, which is meaningful drug pricing reform that clears the US Senate and gets...
    A group of centrist House Democrats on Friday said they planned to introduce a scaled-back bill aimed at lowering prescription drug prices, an alternative to the more sweeping measure backed by House Democratic leaders.  The move, led by Reps. Scott PetersScott H. PetersPelosi breaks bad news to moderates: No vote on infrastructure this month Lack of transatlantic cooperation on trade threatens global climate change goals Overnight Energy: Democrats seek to tackle climate change with import tax | Advocates say bigger deal needed to meet climate crisis | Western wildfires worsen with 80 different fires MORE (D-Calif.) and Kurt SchraderWalter (Kurt) Kurt SchraderHouse Democrats break internal impasse to adopt .5T budget plan Pelosi, moderates inch closer to infrastructure, budget deal Feehery: Walking the plank MORE (D-Ore.), illustrates the concern among a handful of more moderate lawmakers about the far-reaching measure to lower drug prices, known as H.R. 3, that House Democratic leaders have included in their $3.5 trillion package now moving through committees.   A summary of Peters and Schrader’s bill states that it would “preserve innovation” from drug companies. The pharmaceutical...
    The Biden administration unveiled a plan to lower prescription drug prices for Medicare recipients on Thursday that would include backing a proposal in Congress that enables the federal government to directly negotiate with pharmaceutical companies and then passing those rates on to the private sector. 'High drug prices result in access and affordability challenges for many Americans. Twenty-four percent of adults taking prescription drugs say they are hard to afford, and nearly 10 percent of adults report not taking medication as prescribed in order to save money. Some have died as a result,' the plan's introduction reads. More than 61.2 million Americans are covered by Medicare, according to the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services. That includes people over the age of 65 and younger people with disabilities.  Biden officials have long promised to tackle the issue of rising drug prices as part of the president's Build Back Better agenda.  The new plan led by Health and Human Services Secretary Xavier Becerra (right) makes good President Biden's campaign promise to tackle surging prescription drug costs In the plan released...
    (CNN)The Biden administration is lending its weight to congressional Democrats' controversial push to allow Medicare to negotiate drug prices.The measure is a key pillar of the White House's plan to lower prescription drug prices that was released Thursday and comes as the House starts tackling the issue as it crafts a $3.5 trillion budget reconciliation plan.The Senate Budget Committee last month recommended that the plan, which would not need Republican support if it is passed through reconciliation, reduce drug costs for patients. The high cost of drugs is one of Americans' chief health care headaches, but it has long eluded the efforts of lawmakers from both parties to address it amid pressure from the powerful pharmaceutical industry.Already, the industry's chief lobbyist, PhRMA, is warning that allowing the government to set prices would harm patient access to medication, innovation and the economy. Republican lawmakers have also long opposed allowing Medicare to negotiate drug prices.Read MoreWhat's in the planThe Biden administration blueprint cites a lack of competition as a chief factor behind high drug costs. It calls for legislative action to allow...
    Secretary of Health and Human Services Xavier Becerra speaks to the press after taking a tour of a vaccination site at Community of Hope, a community heath center, on May 5, 2021 in Washington, DC.Drew Angerer | Getty Images Health and Human Services Secretary Xavier Becerra on Thursday unveiled the Biden administration's road map to lowering the cost of prescription drugs in the U.S. The plan, summarized in a 29-page document, supports legislation that allows the U.S. government to negotiate lower prices on the costliest drugs each year and pass those savings on to private insurers. Current rules prohibit the HHS from negotiating drug prices on behalf of Medicare — the federal government's health insurance plan for the elderly. It would reduce regulatory barriers to getting a new drug approved by the Food and Drug Administration and incentivize drugmakers to develop medications that are already on the U.S. market, ensuring competition and forcing other companies to lower prices, according to the administration.CNBC Health & Science Read CNBC's latest global coverage of the Covid pandemic: WHO says wealthy nations are prolonging...
    Senate Democrats' bill aimed at lowering prescription drug prices may not apply to the millions of people who get health insurance through their jobs, Senate aides and lobbyists say, prompting alarm from employers and progressive groups. Democrats' signature drug pricing measure, set to be included in their coming $3.5 trillion package, would allow the secretary of Health and Human Services to negotiate lower drug prices, a long-held Democratic goal. The House measure would apply those lower negotiated prices not only to seniors on Medicare, but also to the roughly 150 million Americans who get health insurance through their employers. But in the Senate, the push is running into an obstacle from the complicated rules in the upper chamber. The "Byrd rule," requires that provisions have a sufficient impact on the federal budget. Lowering drug prices for people with private insurance does not have as direct of an impact on the federal budget as lowering prices with Medicare. Employer and progressive groups are pushing for the lower drug prices to apply to people with private insurance as well, saying all Americans,...
    President Joe Biden is pushing Congress to lower the cost of prescription drugs, saying Thursday that the “prices have put the squeeze on too many families” in America. Biden’s comments echo that of former President Donald Trump, who pushed for similar policies but couldn’t get Congress on board. The president said he wants Medicare to directly negotiate drug prices and called for giving out penalties if a drugmaker raises prices at an amount that exceeds inflation, NBC News reported. “This isn’t a partisan issue. Alzheimer’s, diabetes, cancer — they don’t care whether you’re a Democrat or Republican,” Biden said during Thursday’s remarks. “This is another area where we can come together to make a difference in people’s lives.” Drugmakers have pushed back on reducing prices, and Biden complained that “the price of many prescription drugs has dramatically outpaced inflation.” He touted his Build Back Better agenda, promising it will solve issues such as rising drug prices. “To really solve the problem, we need Congress to act,” the president said. “That’s what my Build Back Better plan will do. There’s long...
    President Joe Biden will on Thursday outline plans to reduce the cost of prescription drugs and call on Congress to take action on cutting the spiralling price of life-saving medication.  An official said it would be a 'forceful' message to Congress to deliver savings to millions of Americans by allowing Medicare to negotiate drug prices. At present, Medicare is allowed to negotiate prices for every other type of health except drug prices.   'Pharmaceutical companies do ground-breaking, life-saving work, but there is a difference between developing clinical breakthroughs and driving up prices for the drugs Americans rely on,' the White House said in a statement previewing Biden's remarks. 'Change is sorely needed.' President Joe Biden will on Thursday outline plans to reduce the cost of prescription drugs and call on Congress to take action on cutting the spiralling price of life-saving medication The White House handed its Twitter feed over to Gail, a diabetic mother, to highlight the high costs of prescription drugs Biden wants to penalize drug companies if the price of their products rises faster...
    Rep. Scott Peters, a low-profile California Democrat now serving his fifth term in the House, two years ago supported a landmark bill that would have substantially lowered the cost of life-saving drugs for Americans. Now he's the apparent leader of a group of centrist Democrats who oppose that very same bill, and who have collectively received hundreds of thousands of dollars in campaign contributions from the pharmaceutical industry. Peters' apparent flipflop, reported by Stat last week, centers on H.R. 3, a Democratic House bill that would save American consumers billions of dollars on costly drugs for life-altering diseases like cancer, diabetes and multiple sclerosis. Chief among the bill's provisions is a rule that establishes what is called "international reference pricing," effectively capping the price of a drug in the U.S. at 120% of the average price paid in Australia, Japan, Canada, Germany, France and the U.K. With that cap in place, the Secretary of Health and Human Services would then be mandated to negotiate drug prices directly with pharmaceutical companies, establishing a fixed price for a given drug that...
    President Biden signed the Executive Order on drugs on Friday. Photo: Alex Wong / Getty Images President Joe biden He surprised by stepping forward with one of the demands of progressive Democrats: reducing the price of drugs. The president asked federal health officials to intensify efforts to reduce the prices of prescription drugs, this as part of the “Executive Order to Promote Competition in the American Economy”, signed last Friday. “That lack of competition raises prices for consumers. As fewer large groups have controlled more of the market, margins (charges over cost) have tripled, ”he warns. “Families are paying higher prices for essential items such as prescription drugs, hearing aids and Internet service.” The order asks various agencies of the Biden Administration to work with states to design plans to safely import drugs from Canada, where they are sold at lower prices, something the senator Bernie sanders (Vermont) took as a constant flag in Congress with little support from legislators. However, the former president Donald trump he found a point of agreement on the...
    Krispy Kreme Sets Price Range for Initial Public Offering 5 Best (and Worst) Housing Markets for Growth and Stability Senate Finance Committee Chairman Ron Wyden (D-Ore.) on Tuesday released principles for his proposal to lower prescription drug prices, saying current costs are "unacceptable." © Greg Nash Sen. Ron Wyden (D-Ore.) Wyden has been working behind the scenes to craft a bill to lower drug prices that can get all 50 Senate Democrats on board so that a measure can pass the chamber, as Republican support is not expected. Load Error While some of the contours were already known, the principles released on Tuesday provide the first written indication of what Senate Democrats want. Still, there are many details that are not included in the document, highlighting the work ahead to craft the specifics. The principles call for Medicare to be able to negotiate lower drug prices, a long-held goal for Democrats that is largely opposed by Republicans. Importantly, Wyden also calls for the lower prices to apply to people in private insurance plans, not just in...
    A key Biden administration health official said Thursday that she is "taking a look" at one of former President TrumpDonald TrumpTrump DOJ seized phone records of New York Times reporters George P. Bush announces bid for Texas attorney general Liz Cheney spent K on security in months after Trump impeachment vote MORE's proposals to lower drug prices, but did not commit to pursuing the plan. "I think we're, you know, taking a look at those concepts," Liz Fowler, director of the Center for Medicare and Medicaid Innovation, said when asked about Trump's "most favored nation" proposal to lower drug prices. Trump had touted that initiative as a way to lower the prices Medicare paid for certain drugs to be in line with the prices paid in other wealthy countries. But the proposal, which Trump put forward at the end of his term, never went into effect after it was blocked by the courts for failing to follow proper procedural steps in its implementation. The path forward is therefore up to the Biden administration. Fowler noted the court rulings during an...
    The American Action Network has received millions of dollars from the pharmaceutical industry. A dark money group is running a $4 million ad campaign to convince voters that lowering the cost of prescription drugs would be a bad thing. According to the American Action Network's "issue ads," lawmakers who vote to pass legislation allowing the government to negotiate drug prices with pharmaceutical manufacturers are part of a government "takeover" that will mean fewer cures. H.R. 3, known as the Elijah E. Cummings Lower Drug Costs Now Act, was introduced in the House of Representatives on April 22 by Democratic Rep. Frank Pallone of New Jersey and is currently pending in a number of committees. It would allow Medicare to negotiate with prescription drug companies to buy in bulk, limit out-of-pocket expenses for beneficiaries, and restrict future drug price increases. The ads being run by the American Action Network call H.R. 3 "Pelosi's socialist drug takeover plan" and charge that it will result in the prescription drug market being controlled by...
    A conservative advocacy group that backs Republican causes is expanding a major ad blitz in dozens of congressional districts controlled by House Democrats that targets House Speaker Nancy Pelosi's "radical plan" to lower prescription drug prices through government regulation. The American Action Network (AAN) on Monday is announcing that it’s adding another $1 million to an existing $4 million ad campaign that it launched last week in 40 congressional districts represented by Democrats. And it's going up with ads in another five districts, bringing to 45 the number of districts targeted. CONSERVATIVE ADVOCACY GROUP TAKES AIM AT HOUSE DEMOCRATS OVER PELOSI'S 'SOCIALIST' DRUG REGULATION PLAN The new spot, shared first with Fox News, highlights a national security theme, charging that the House speaker's proposal to lower prescription drug prices could send pharmaceutical manufacturing overseas, possibly making Americans reliant on China for their medications. "Communist China. They threaten our economy. Even our security," the announcer highlights in the new commercial. "So does Nancy Pelosi really want them producing our medicines. Pelosi's radical plan will result in American drug production outsourced to foreign...
    Sen. Kirsten GillibrandKirsten GillibrandA bipartisan effort to prevent the scourge of sexual assault in the armed forces Overnight Defense: Top general drops objection to major change in prosecuting military sexual assault | Supreme Court declines to take up case from former West Point cadet | Pentagon says 'small' attacks not affecting Afghanistan withdrawal A historic moment to truly honor mothers MORE (D-N.Y.) this week touted legislation aimed at lowering the cost of prescription drugs for Americans, calling it a "deeply bipartisan" issue. Gillbrand spoke in Syracuse touting a package of three bills intended to address high drug prices, saying Senate Democrats could pass the legislation if they reform the filibuster, NPR affiliate WRVO reported. “I think this is an idea that is deeply bipartisan. 88% of Americans support it, so I hope we can get some bipartisan legislation passed. If not, if we do reform the filibuster, this could be included,” Gillibrand said. The former presidential candidate added that the proposed legislation would foster increased competition and force drug prices to go down while also helping seniors by lowering their medical costs, WRVO reported. "One is letting Medicare negotiate in...
    Big pharma worried McConnell can't stop bills that lower drug prices anymore
    DENVER (CBS4) – Prescription drug prices in Colorado could soon be controlled by a five person board. A bill by Senators Sonya Jacquez Lewis and Julie Gonzalez would create a Prescription Drug Affordability Review Board. It would start with 12 drugs the first year, and for each one, come up with a maximum purchase price. No one would pay more than that price for that drug. The lower the price, the lower the co-pay. READ MORE: Shootings In Atlanta Leave Some In Denvers Asian Community Really Disgusted Mariah Leach among those supporting the bill. She has Rheumatoid Arthritis. Prescription medication means the difference between being active with her kids and being in a wheelchair. Her disease not only takes an enormous physical toll but a financial one. (credit: CBS) “I was recently charged a co-pay of $2,206 for two syringes of this medication which covers one month.” Leach is among thousands of Coloradans who struggle to afford prescription medications. Their struggle is familiar to Jaquez Lewis. “As a pharmacist, I’ve spent my entire career listening to patients talk about how they...
    Secretary of Health and Human Services nominee Xavier BecerraXavier BecerraOvernight Health Care: Senate to vote on .9 trillion relief bill this week | J&J vaccine rollout begins | CDC warns against lifting restrictions Politics, not racism or sexism, explain opposition to Biden Cabinet nominees The Hill's 12:30 Report - Presented by Facebook - Biden vs. Trump, part II MORE told Sen. Elizabeth WarrenElizabeth WarrenOn The Money: Senators push for changes as chamber nears vote on .9T relief bill | Warren offers bill to create wealth tax Sanders vows to force vote on minimum wage Warren's wealth tax would cost 100 richest Americans billion MORE (D-Mass.) that if confirmed he would conduct a “thorough review” of potential administration actions to lower drug prices, in response to a question about using a major executive power on the issue.  Warren asked Becerra in a written question known as a “question for the record” about taking a drastic action, which does not require Congress, to break the patent on a drug and allow other companies to make it at a lower price. “If I...
    The European Commission announced Wednesday that it had forced the South African laboratory Aspen to drastically reduce its prices for six anticancer drugs in Europe, after finding an abuse of dominant position. Under pressure from the Commission, Aspen pledged to an average tariff reduction of 73% on these essential products in the treatment of certain severe forms of blood cancer. These laboratory commitments, made legally binding, “will allow European health systems to save tens of millions of euros”, said Competition Commissioner Margrethe Vestager. In May 2017, Brussels had opened a procedure on the pricing practices of the pharmaceutical company, after observing dizzying price increases from 2012 in all the countries of Europe where it sold its drugs. The discounts now granted make it possible to bring prices back below their 2012 level, so before the start of increases deemed abusive. “The prices charged by Aspen exceeded its costs by almost 300% on average” and the company reaped “very high profits”, especially in comparison with the level of profit of other firms in the sector, explained the European executive. in...
    President Joe Biden’s first actions included a directive that suspends President Donald Trump’s executive order aimed at lowering the prices of insulin and epinephrine, which was to have gone into effect on Friday, January 22. The directive, issued by White House Chief of Staff Ron Klain, suspends new regulations for 60 days while the new administration can conduct a review. Those regulations include the new rules finalized for insulin and epinephrine. As Fox News noted: The Department of Health and Human Services on Thursday announced that the directive [for insulin and epinephrine] would be put on hold among a number of other measures that were passed under Trump, but are not yet in effect. The measure, signed off on in December, aimed to require some community health centers to deliver savings to low-income patients for insulin and epinephrine in a bid to bring down unaffordable prices. The rule was scheduled to go into effect on Friday but has since been delayed until March 22. Bloomberg Law cited critics of the Trump rule who said that health centers providing the drugs “already...
    Throughout his term, President Donald Trump has signed a series of health care executive orders attempting to accomplish goals long sought by members of both parties. In 2020 alone, Trump has signed orders mandating drug price transparency, allowing Americans to purchase and re-import drugs from Canada and mandating Medicare drug purchases match the lowest comparable cost paid by other developed nations. In October, the Trump administration signed an order requiring health insurers to disclose costs upfront, allowing millions of Americans access to drug and treatment prices before purchasing them. “With more than 70% of the most costly health care services being shoppable, Americans will have vastly more control over their care,” Health and Human Services Secretary Alex Azar said when the order was signed. WASHINGTON, DC – NOVEMBER 20: U.S. President Donald Trump speaks to the press in the James Brady Press Briefing Room at the White House on November 20, 2020 in Washington, DC. (Photo by Tasos Katopodis/Getty Images) Though advocates for the measure said it would force market-driven competition, allowing Americans more choices at lower costs, opponents have...
    WASHINGTON - Trying to close out major unfinished business, the Trump administration issued regulations Friday that could lower the prices Americans pay for many prescription drugs. But in a time of political uncertainty, it's hard to say whether the rules will withstand expected legal challenges from the pharmaceutical industry or whether President-elect Joe Biden's administration will accept, amend or try to roll them back entirely. "The drug companies don't like me too much. But we had to do it," President Donald Trump said in announcing the new policy at the White House. "I just hope they keep it. I hope they have the courage to keep it," he added, in an apparent reference to the incoming Biden administration, while noting the opposition from drug company lobbyists. The two finalized rules, long in the making, would: — Tie what Medicare pays for medications administered in a doctor's office to the lowest price paid among a group of other economically advanced countries. That's called the "most favored nation" approach. It is adamantly opposed by critics aligned with the pharmaceutical industry, who...
    Please note this is the final 2020 edition of the CBS News Trail Markers. Thank you to all of the members of the political unit, correspondents, digital reporters and many others for their daily contributions and reporting over the last year and a half. And a very big thank you to Ellen Uchimiya and Caroline Linton for editing this every night and to Lex Harris and CBSNews.com for giving it a home. In his third appearance since election night, President Trump talked about his administration's work to lower the price of prescription drugs through regulations and argued its efforts could save Americans up to 30% in drug costs. He announced two new rules aimed at helping seniors, in particular. He also announced an end to the unapproved drugs initiative, which the administration says creates artificial monopolies for some older drugs. The president said that his administration would prevent exorbitant raises in drug prices and possibly save Americans billions of dollars. Get Breaking News Delivered to Your Inbox CBS News campaign reporter LaCrai Mitchell reports that the president also took the...
    President Donald Trump announced two sweeping regulations Friday aimed at lowering prescription drug prices for Americans. One of the rules implements what is known as a “most favored nation” approach that limits what Medicare pays for medications to the lowest price paid by other economically advanced countries. The administration says it could save $28 billion for Medicare beneficiaries through lower copays. The other rule would require drug makers to push rebates and discounts directly on to Medicare patients rather than to insurers and middlemen pharmacy benefit managers. The Trump administration says the rule could potentially result in 30 percent savings for patients, although the Congressional Budget Office estimates it could ultimately cost taxpayers more. Both rules are set to take effect on January 1, although the pharmaceutical industry is expected to mount legal challenges that could delay or block the rules. The rules could also be overturned if Joe Biden takes office in January. “The drug companies don’t like me too much. But we had to do it,” Trump said in announcing the new policies at the White House. “I...
    WASHINGTON – Trying to close out major unfinished business, the Trump administration issued regulations Friday that could lower the prices Americans pay for many prescription drugs. But in a time of political uncertainty, it’s hard to say whether the rules will withstand expected legal challenges from the pharmaceutical industry or whether the incoming Biden administration will accept, amend or try to roll them back entirely. President Donald Trump was announcing the new policy at a White House event. The two finalized rules, long in the making, would: — tie what Medicare pays for medications administered in a doctor's office to the lowest price paid among a group of other economically advanced countries. That's called the “most favored nations” approach. It is adamantly opposed by critics aligned with the pharmaceutical industry, who liken it to socialism. The administration estimates it could save $28 billion over seven years for Medicare recipients through lower copays. It would take effect Jan. 1. — require drugmakers, for brand name pharmacy medications, to give Medicare enrollees rebates that now go to insurers and middlemen called pharmacy...
    By RICARDO ALONSO-ZALDIVAR, Associated Press WASHINGTON (AP) — Trying to close out major unfinished business, the Trump administration issued regulations Friday that could lower the prices Americans pay for many prescription drugs. But in a time of political uncertainty, it’s hard to say whether the rules will withstand expected legal challenges from the pharmaceutical industry or whether the incoming Biden administration will accept, amend or try to roll them back entirely. President Donald Trump was announcing the new policy at a White House event. The two finalized rules, long in the making, would: — tie what Medicare pays for medications administered in a doctor's office to the lowest price paid among a group of other economically advanced countries. That's called the “most favored nations” approach. It is adamantly opposed by critics aligned with the pharmaceutical industry, who liken it to socialism. The administration estimates it could save $28 billion over seven years for Medicare recipients through lower copays. It would take effect Jan. 1. — require drugmakers, for brand name pharmacy medications, to give Medicare enrollees rebates that now go...
    WASHINGTON (Reuters) - U.S. President Donald Trump will announce on Friday two rules designed to lower drug prices, an administration official said on Thursday. The rules, first reported by the Wall Street Journal, follow up on an executive order that Trump signed in September. (Reporting by Steve Holland; Writing by Eric Beech; Editing by Mohammad Zargham) Copyright 2020 Thomson Reuters. Tags: United States
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