PCMA Sues To Stop Trump’s Medicare Drug-Price Negotiation Policy
Read about the biggest pharmaceutical developments and pricing stories from the past week in KHN's Prescription Drug Watch roundup.
Middlemen Sue To Block A Signature Trump Drug Pricing Proposal
The Pharmaceutical Care Management Association, which represents drug middlemen in Washington, filed a lawsuit Tuesday to block implementation of one of President Trump’s signature drug pricing policies. The policy at issue would prevent drug makers and middlemen from negotiating rebates on prescription drugs. The policy has been controversial even within the Trump administration: The administration first proposed the idea in January 2019 but abandoned it in July of that year, only to pick up again last November. (Florko, 1/12)
Democrats, Eyeing Medicare Drug Price Negotiation, Still Face Roadblocks
Democrats have their best shot in more than a decade to deliver on one of the party’s central health care promises: allowing Medicare to directly negotiate prescription drug prices. But it’s far from guaranteed that they can deliver. After last week’s special election in Georgia, Democrats now control the White House, Senate, and House, giving them virtually unilateral control to dictate health policy in Washington. One of their first non-pandemic priorities will likely be allowing Medicare to directly negotiate with drug makers over the price of drugs: President-elect Biden has called the Medicare negotiation ban “outrageous,” and for years, top Democrats including House Speaker Nancy Pelosi and soon-to-be Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer have made clear the policy ranks near the top of their wish lists. (Florko and Facher, 1/11)
Prices Of 7 Drugs Were Hiked Without Proof Of New Benefits, Report Finds
During 2019, drug makers raised prices on seven widely used medicines by substantial amounts without any new clinical evidence to justify the increases, leading patients and insurers in the U.S. to spend an added $1.2 billion that year, according to a new analysis. (Silverman, 1/12)
Commerce Department Agency Proposes Eliminating 'March-In Rights'
In a little-noticed move, a Commerce Department unit has proposed a new rule that would prevent the federal government from using a controversial legal provision known as “march-in rights” to combat the high prices of products developed with taxpayer dollars. And if adopted, the change may rob Americans of a tool that could be used to lower prescription drug costs, according to consumer advocates. (Silverman, 1/11)
Endocrinologists Urge Federal Lawmakers To Act To Lower Insulin Costs
Amid ongoing concerns over the cost of insulin, a leading physicians group is calling for a raft of measures that would increase affordability for the life-saving diabetes treatment, a move that comes as the incoming Biden administration readies its agenda for addressing prescription drug prices. At the top of its list, the Endocrine Society would like to see the federal government negotiate pricing with drug companies, as well as place limits on future wholesale price hikes that are tied to the overall inflation rate and restrict the out-of-pocket costs borne by people with diabetes. (Silverman, 1/12)
Dedicated To Cutting Drug Prices, EQRx Raises Money, Releases Few Details
EQRx, a startup that made waves last year when it announced a plan to develop new medicines that would sell at cheaper prices than existing high-priced drugs, said Monday it had raised $500 million more in investment, bringing the total amount it has raised to $750 million. (Herper, 1/11)