A pair of "centrist" Democrat lawmakers are expected to soon release their own proposal for lowering the cost of prescription-drug prices in the US, reported The Wall Street Journal, adding that the bill takes a narrower approach to a key provision of the broader House Democratic plan.
Scott Peters, one of the co-authors of the new bill, stated that the plan aims to both lower out-of-pocket drug costs for consumers while also protecting drug-industry jobs and investments in future innovation.
The legislation would allow Medicare to negotiate price concessions of 25% to 35% on drugs that don't have competition on the market and aren't protected by exclusivity, according to a summary of the bill.
According to the news source, that is a more limited scope than the legislation unveiled by the House Energy and Commerce Committee this week, and previously passed by the House in late 2019.
The committee legislation, backed by House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, would allow Medicare to negotiate prices with drug companies over a group of the most expensive and commonly used drugs that don't face competition, as well as insulin.
Under this system, the Health and Human Services secretary could negotiate on the price of 25 eligible drugs the first year, followed by 50 drugs in subsequent years. Those negotiated prices couldn't go above 120% of the drug's average price in a group of international countries.
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