WASHINGTON, D.C. — The following statement was issued by David Mitchell, a cancer patient and founder of Patients For Affordable Drugs Now, following the House Ways and Means Committee’s favorable report on the reconciliation bill:
“The U.S. House Ways and Means Committee stood strong with patients today by voting to advance H.R. 3 in the reconciliation package. The inclusion of this strong Medicare negotiation legislation fuels momentum towards comprehensive, meaningful reform to provide relief to millions of Americans facing high drug prices in this country.
“We applaud Chairman Richard Neal and Democratic members on the committee for standing up to Big Pharma and fighting for H.R. 3, which will ensure patients get the innovation we need at prices we can afford.
”Now the House and Senate must move forward with reconciliation to fulfill their promise to pass strong Medicare negotiation to lower drug prices on behalf of Americans.”
- The successful Ways and Means Committee vote follows a tie vote from earlier today in the Energy and Commerce Committee that occurred after three Democrats failed to support drug pricing provisions. Our statement responding to these three members can be found here. Ways and Means’ favorable report ensures that H.R. 3 will be incorporated into the reconciliation package that moves to the floor.
- The House’s advancement 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 Wyden recently 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.”