Action Congress is Taking Concerning High Drug Costs

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Editorialist

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Oct 25, 2017
If you are interested in what Congress is doing toward lowering drug prices, here is the following legislations they propose to deal with the issue:

In U. Senate:

S.99 - Medicare Drug Price Negotiation Act

To amend title XVIII of the Social Security Act to provide for the negotiation of lower covered part D drug prices on behalf of Medicare recipients

S.97 - Affordable and Safe Prescription Drug Importation Act

To amend the Federal Food, Drug, and Cosmetic Act to allow for the importation of affordable and safe drugs by wholesale distributors, pharmacies, and individuals.

S.102 - Prescription Drug Price Relief Act of 2019

To significantly lower prescription drug prices for patients in the United States by ending government-granted monopolies for manufacturers who charge drug prices that are higher than the median prices at which the drugs are available in other countries

In the U. S. House of Representatives:

H.R.448 - Medicare Drug Price Negotiation Act

To amend title XVIII of the Social Security Act to provide for the negotiation of lower covered part D drug prices on behalf of Medicare recipients.

H.R.447 - Affordable and Safe Prescription Drug Importation Act

To amend the Federal Food, Drug, and Cosmetic Act to allow for the importation of affordable and safe drugs by wholesale distributors, pharmacies, and individuals.

Of course I am very much concerned about this issue and have let them know what I want done with this legislation.
 

Don M.

Well-known member
Joined
Nov 3, 2014
Location
central Missouri
Drug prices in the U.S. are beyond ridiculous. This past week "60 Minutes" did a piece on the outrageous price hikes taking place in Generic drugs. I would like to see All of the above legislation passes, but given the huge amount of money the drug companies spend on political campaigns, I doubt that there are few in Congress who are not in the drug companies "hip pocket". In addition to the current proposals, I would really like to see all drug commercials banned from TV. The U.S. and New Zealand are the only nations which allow this propaganda to be broadcasted, and you can bet the billions spent on these ads is added to the cost at the pharmacy.
 

Geezerette

Active member
Joined
Feb 14, 2014
It is a very complex problem and one that concerns me also. I believe in honest negotiating for prices but only if it were "clean", not having our reps being bought off by or shielding Pharmas in their own state from price cuts.
I personally know people who are getting some routine meds from Canada, both with & without Rx's
Would only want to see imported drugs which were produced with same quality stds as here, not by child labor in a dirty back alley.
Then, importing brings up the question of tariffs which are already affecting farms and diaries negatively.
Better quit before I get - "political".
 

Trade

Well-known member
If you are interested in what Congress is doing toward lowering drug prices, here is the following legislations they propose to deal with the issue:

In U. Senate:

S.99 - Medicare Drug Price Negotiation Act

To amend title XVIII of the Social Security Act to provide for the negotiation of lower covered part D drug prices on behalf of Medicare recipients
It's an absolute travesty that Medicare isn't allowed to negotiate drug prices.

https://www.forbes.com/sites/johnwasik/2018/08/10/why-medicare-cant-get-the-lowest-drug-prices/#3e65a49d302b

When you're one of the biggest buyers of pharmaceuticals on the planet, you should have a big stick to negotiate the best prices.

Medicare, which insures more than 60 million beneficiaries, doesn't have that power, mostly because Congress stopped it from getting the best drug prices years ago. But that could change.

The anti-consumer poison pill was embedded in a law ironically called the Medicare Modernization Act. Among other things, it put corporate Pharmacy Benefit Managers (PBMs) in charge of acquiring drugs through Medicare's "Part D" plan.

On paper, getting middlemen to do the job of the government seemed like a good idea, but it didn't guarantee that Medicare beneficiaries would get the lowest prescription costs.

After all, PBMs are for-profit companies. They had to take their cut at the expense of retirees. They only had so much bargaining power. The recently introduced Medicare Negotiation and Competitive Licensing Act would put Medicare directly in charge of demanding the lowest drug prices.
“Current law is based on the idea that middlemen called PBMs can do a better job negotiating lower drug prices than the government,” said David Mitchell, a cancer patient, Medicare beneficiary, and President of Patients For Affordable Drugs.

“If that were true, Americans would not be paying two to three times what people in other countries with direct negotiations pay. It’s time to change the law.”
Although free market advocates counter that drug companies compete against other to provide low prices, the industry is protected by patent laws and consistently fights low-cost, generic competition. Pharma companies can lock in some of the highest profits of any industry -- for years.
Countries with national or single-payer healthcare, it should be noted, offer drugs to citizens at a fraction of what U.S. consumers pay.
And yet this bill have one sponsor and 8 co-sponsors in the Senate.

https://www.congress.gov/bill/116th-congress/senate-bill/99/cosponsors

So where are the other 91 Senators? With 9 out of 100 Senators on board, what are the chances of this being passed in any forseeable future?

 

DaveA

Well-known member
Joined
Sep 22, 2016
Location
Coastal Massachusetts, USA
I don't know but wonder why all 9 are Democrats? Is that telling us something?

Since Citizen's United became law, large corporations pretty well bankroll all of our elected officials as it allows almost limitless donations to their campaigns. That was and is the most devastating law to be put in place in our modern era.
 
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