WASHINGTON, D.C. — The following statement was issued by David Mitchell, a cancer patient and founder of Patients For Affordable Drugs Now, in response to the release today of the Biden administration’s Comprehensive Plan for Addressing High Drug Prices: A Report in Response to the Executive Order on Competition in the American Economy:
“The plan issued today by the Biden administration is bold, comprehensive, and exciting. It will spur innovation and research into new treatments that patients want and need, and ensure that those new medicines are available at prices families and our nation can afford. It will improve the health and financial well-being of patients across the country. We look forward to working with the administration and Congress to implement its recommendations, including enacting legislation this year that will allow Medicare to negotiate lower prices on behalf of Americans.”
- This plan aligns with the president’s Build Back Better plan, which includes lowering drug prices through Medicare negotiation.
- The Senate Finance Committee is drafting a bill that would allow Medicare to negotiate and is likely to be included in the Senate’s final reconciliation package. Senate Finance Committee Chairman Wydenrecently released his guiding principles for drug pricing reform, which are expected to be included in the bill. Chairman Wyden said, “We are moving aggressively to put together a prescription drug package that protects those millions of Americans who believe they’re getting mugged at the pharmacy.” When asked if the reconciliation bill will include Medicare negotiation, he responded, “No question about it.”
- The Wall Street Journal reported, “Senate Budget Committee Chairman Bernie Sanders has said he hopes to include provisions allowing the federal government to negotiate prices for certain costly drugs in Medicare.”
- House leadership has been clear they plan to include Medicare negotiation in the reconciliation package. The House began marking up the reconciliation package, including a version of its Medicare negotiation legislation, H.R. 3, this week.
- In a press call, Speaker Pelosi said she wants to include Medicare negotiation in the budget bill. “We have an extraordinary opportunity to do this as we craft this reconciliation bill,” she told reporters.
- In May, 156 House Democrats — 70 percent of the House Democratic caucus — signed a letter urging the Biden administration to include Medicare negotiation to lower drug prices in the American Families Plan.
- In June, 15 vulnerable House Democrats sent a letter asking congressional leadership to include Medicare negotiation in the budget bill.