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Analysis

House Set to Vote on Pelosi Drug Pricing Plan

By Jack O'Brien  
   December 09, 2019

The plan has garnered attention and debate since it was first introduced in September.

The House of Representatives is slated to vote on Speaker Nancy Pelosi's drug-pricing plan this week, a proposal which has drawn a polarized response since it was first introduced in September.

The House is set to vote on the Lower Drug Costs Now Act of 2019, Pelosi's proposal that would allow the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) Secretary to directly negotiate drug prices with manufacturers and establish a ceiling price of no more than 120% of the volume-weight average price of the Average International Market price.

The bill also includes language that would cap out-of-pocket costs for prescription drugs available under Medicare Part D, decrease the government reinsurance for catastrophic spending down to 20%, and increase health plan responsibility to 50%.

The vote comes as both the Senate also considers its own drug-pricing legislation and the White House looks at regulatory actions to lower the price of prescription drugs.

Pelosi's proposal earned a mixed response from industry stakeholders after it was unveiled in September and has run into criticisms from both sides of the aisle on Capitol Hill in recent weeks.

Most notably, Politico reported late last week that House leadership planned to water down legislative language supported by progressive representatives prior to the full floor vote.

In late November, President Trump tweeted his criticisms of Pelosi's drug pricing plan and called on Democrats to "get serious about bipartisan solutions" related to lowering prescription drug prices.

Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, R-Ky., previously said in an interview that the chamber was "not going to be calling up a bill like that."

 

Jack O'Brien is the finance editor at HealthLeaders, a Simplify Compliance brand.

Photo credit: Brussels, Belgium. 18th Feb. 2019. President of the European Commission Jean-Claude Juncker meets with a Speaker of the United States House of Representatives Nancy Pelosi. - Image / Editorial credit: Alexandros Michailidis / Shutterstock.com


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