Leaked Democrat pricing plan reveals 250 drug hit-list

A draft of the Drug Price Negotiation Bill from Nancy Pelosi, which is still being tweaked was leaked. 

According to the document, the maximum price negotiated for these 250 drugs cannot be more than 1.2 times the average price in six countries referenced as indexes. These six countries being UK, Australia, Germany, France, Canada and Japan.

The 250 chosen drugs are those that are costing Medicare the most every year. This is based on metrics such as each drug each not having at least two “generic, biosimilar or interchangeable” competitors in the marketplace.

Also included in the pricing plan is the proposed method of action of imposing hefty penalties amounting to 75% of gross sales of a product in the previous year, if pharma manufacturers do not reach an agreement or choose not to enter negotiations.

The list has been viewed in two distinct mindsets, with a view seeing it as a way of attempting to find a middle ground between Trumps across the board reference pricing plan and established Republican resistance to allowing Medicare to negotiate pricing on the grounds that it runs counter- to free-market principles.

This prominent resistance particularly in the Republican majority senate means this bill could find it very hard to get through the Senate. In a summary of the document, it claims that within the first year of the bill “drugs representing almost half of all Medicare Part D spending…would be subject to the negotiation process -including insulins.” With the latter part raising interest with the recent press around the high insulin prices charged to US patients.

Medicare Part D provides private health insurance to around 25 million people in the US. Also according to the draft, all 8,000plus drugs covered in Part D as well as drugs which are prescribed by a physician in a hospital (Medicare Part B) would be subject to a mandatory rebate if their prices increased beyond the rate of inflation since 2016.

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