Senate Bill Seeks to Tame High Drug Costs With Inflation Link - (Bloomberg via NewsPoints Desk)

  • The Senate Finance Committee has unveiled a bill seeking to reduce healthcare spending by $100 billion over 10 years by penalising companies enacting price hikes that outpace the rate of inflation, Bloomberg reported Tuesday.

  • "We are engaging with coalitions to help build support," remarked White House spokesman Judd Deere, continuing "we will work with Senators to ensure this proposal moves forward and advances the president’s priority of lowering drug prices even further and increasing transparency in health care for the benefit of all Americans."

  • The proposal would require drugmakers to issue rebates to the federal government if they increase the list prices of drugs at a faster rate than inflation, while the bill would be linked to drug prices as of July 1 to block companies from raising prices ahead of its implementation.

  • The bill would also change the way Medicaid pays for medicines and require the Department of Health and Human Services to publicise date it receives from pharmacy benefit managers, including information on rebates.

  • The Campaign for Sustainable Rx Pricing described the proposal as a "good first step," while Pharmaceutical Research and Manufacturers of America CEO Stephen Ubl argued that the bill "would siphon more than $150 billion from researching and developing new medicines."

  • Additionally, some Republican lawmakers expressed dissatisfaction with the measure, with Senator Pat Roberts stating "basically we're talking about price controls and once you open that door, other things will happen."

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