Democrats’ High-Profile Tug-Of-War Between Progressives, Moderates Spills Into Drug Pricing Debate
Progressive Democrats are calling on their moderate colleagues to pursue more aggressive strategies on drug prices, despite the fact that any such legislation would face an uphill battle in the Republican-controlled Senate. The division is part of a larger fracture in the party about what direction to take on big health care issues.
Democrats Feud Over Drug Pricing Policy, As Progressives Push To Be Bolder
Democratic leadership and the party’s progressive flank are feuding over how best to lower drug prices. In recent weeks, tensions between the two camps have escalated, and some fights have even spilled into public view. In a high-profile tug of war, lawmakers hoping to strike an accord with the Trump administration have been forced to confront a faction pressing Democrats to instead pursue a bolder progressive agenda — albeit one that the GOP-controlled Senate would surely ignore. (Facher and Florko, 4/15)
In other pharmaceutical news —
Peter Bach's Crazy Idea: Give Up On Biosimilars. Regulate Prices Instead
[Oeter] Bach, the director for the center for health policy and outcomes at Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center, thinks that biosimilars, the would-be cheaper alternatives to the biologic drugs that are among the industry’s most expensive, are a lost cause. The government has been developing policies to foster a biosimilars market, one that would work like the generics market and ultimately drive down the price of versions of drugs like Epogen, Avastin, and Humira. But Bach and his frequent co-author, Mark Trusheim of the MIT Sloan School of Management, argue in two new blog posts in Health Affairs that it’s time to abandon that approach. (Herper and Silverman, 4/15)