Congress, specifically Democrats in the House of Representatives, will introduce legislation in the next few weeks to “drastically” reduce drug prices.
Yes, folks, you have heard this before from Congress. Unfortunately for consumers, especially senior citizens on fixed incomes, not only were drug prices not “drastically” reduced last term, the drug manufacturers increased prices right before the Holidays!
Congress: New Drug Price Drop Legislation This Term
Led by Senator Bernie Sanders (I-Vt), a group of Democratic lawmakers plan on submitting three separate pieces of legislation. They intend to have the drug companies roll back prices on their drug inventories.
To achieve this objective, three separate pieces of legislative bills will be introduced on the House floor.
Congress: The Drug Bills
House Bill #1: This measure allows Americans to import drugs from Canada for personal use. It actually is a re-introduction of a previously submitted bill.
Both Sen. Amy Klobuchar (D-Minn.) and Sen. Charles Grassley, an Iowa Republican and the new chair of the Senate Finance Committee are co-sponsors on this bill. Senator Grassley also said he will bring back two other bills on drug pricing as top priorities.
House Bill #2: Another bill would direct the HHS secretary to negotiate with drug makers for lower prices under Medicare Part D. Senator Klobuchar and a bipartisan group in the House already introduced a similar measure this week.
House Bill #3: The third bill would tie U.S. drug prices to the median price in five major countries, including Canada and the U.K.
The proposal was first introduced in November 2018, but now has scored a powerful new ally in Rep. Elijah Cummings (D-Md.)
The legislative package is also being sponsored by Democratic Reps. Ro Khanna, Peter Welch, and Joe Neguse, among other co-sponsors in the House and Senate.
Consumers are hoping that this time Congress will able to achieve drug price relief. Perhaps this time they will be successful.