Both Democrats And Republicans Were Eager For A Bipartisan Win On Drug Prices. But Then Reality Got In The Way.
Several roadblocks, including intraparty divisions and impeachment proceedings, threaten to derail any progress on drug pricing -- a rare issue that had inspired bipartisan hopes earlier in the year.
The Wall Street Journal:
Intraparty Disputes Dim Outlook For Drug-Price Legislation
Congressional lawmakers who pledged to lower drug prices are confronting the prospect that intraparty divides and possible impeachment proceedings may prevent them from getting anything major done this year. The White House, eager for a win as other drug-price initiatives have sputtered, is pushing Congress to compromise, but a plan in the Democratic-controlled House has become saddled with demands from progressives who say it doesn’t go far enough, and a bipartisan Senate bill is also on shaky ground, with some Republicans objecting to price controls. (Armour, 10/28)
Pelosi's Office Working To Kill Progressive Change To Drug Pricing Bill
House Speaker Nancy Pelosi’s staff is pushing to kill a progressive amendment to her sweeping drug pricing bill that would provide more Americans with financial protection from drug price increases, two sources familiar with the effort told POLITICO. The amendment, from Rep. Pramila Jayapal, co-chair of the Congressional Progressive Caucus, was adopted by the Education and Labor Committee during a markup of the drug bill last week. (Karlin-Smith and Cancryn, 10/26)
Democrats’ New Logic: Slightly Fewer Medicines OK If It Means Lower Prices
Democratic lawmakers in recent weeks have begun to advance an argument long seen as something of a third rail in U.S. politics: that slightly less biomedical innovation might be worth a dramatic reduction in drug prices. The surprising candor has come amid pushback to House Speaker Nancy Pelosi’s high-profile drug pricing bill, which the trade group PhRMA this month said represented “nuclear winter” for the development of new medicines. (Facher, 10/28)
Vulnerable Republicans Balk At Trump-Backed Drug Pricing Bill
Vulnerable GOP senators up for reelection next year are giving the cold shoulder to a bipartisan bill aimed at lowering drug prices. Senate Finance Committee Chairman Chuck Grassley (R-Iowa) is pushing for passage of his measure with Sen. Ron Wyden (D-Ore.) to lower drug prices, something seen as a rare area for possible bipartisan agreement this year. (Sullivan, 10/26)
Amid Push For Lower Drug Prices, Antibiotics Makers Want More
Even as lawmakers debate policies to lower drug prices and curtail Big Pharma profits, manufacturers that specialize in new antibiotics are begging Congress for help in staying afloat. Investors don’t see the same moneymaking potential in antibiotics as with cancer and other chronic disease drugs. That’s despite a clear public health need for new antibiotics, since many don’t work as well due to years of overuse. (Siddons, 2/28)