The Government Should Get Into The Generic-Drug Making Business To Curb High Prices, Sen. Warren Says
Democratic Sen. Elizabeth Warren’s bill would establish an Office of Drug Manufacturing that would be required to manufacture at least 15 different generic drugs in its first year where the agency determines there is a failure in the market. Meanwhile, Sen. Cory Booker (D-N.J.) is also introducing legislation geared toward high drug costs and increasing transparency in Medicaid funding.
Warren Bill Would Get Feds Into Generic Drug Manufacturing
Sen. Elizabeth Warren (D-Mass.), a likely 2020 presidential candidate, will release a bill on Tuesday that would effectively create a government-run pharmaceutical manufacturer to mass-produce generic drugs and bring down prices, several sources in her office told POLITICO on Monday in an exclusive preview of the legislation. The bill, dubbed the Affordable Drug Manufacturing Act, is unlikely to pass the Republican-led Senate, but it signals that a future Warren White House could try to radically revamp the federal government’s role in the pharmaceutical market in order try to lower prices. (Thompson and Karlin-Smith, 12/17)
Sen. Cory Booker Seeks Increased Transparency In Medicaid's Drug Decisions
Sen. Cory Booker, D-N.J., says he will introduce federal legislation this week that would require more transparency surrounding states' Medicaid drug decisions. The bill comes in response to a recent investigation by the Center for Public Integrity and NPR. The measure, known as the "Medicaid Drug Decisions Transparency Act," would require pharmaceutical companies to disclose their payments to pharmacists and others who serve on state Medicaid drug boards. These boards help decide which drugs Medicaid patients will be able to access easily. Currently drugmakers must only disclose perks given to doctors, such as free dinners, speaking fees and consulting gigs. In addition, the bill would increase penalties for companies that fail to comply with reporting requirements. (Whyte, 12/17)
And, in other news —
The Post and Courier:
Clyburn Has Taken More Than $1 Million In Pharma Money In A Decade, Far Surpassing Peers
While South Carolina’s longest-serving congressman threw his support to research and the growth of the multibillion-dollar pharmaceutical industry in his district, drug- and device-making companies rewarded him by giving liberally to his campaign war chest for years. U.S. Rep. Jim Clyburn, D-Columbia, has collected more in the last decade from powerful political action committees attached to the pharmaceutical industry than anyone else in the House or Senate, according to Kaiser Health News and a Post and Courier analysis. (Wildeman, 12/16)
Want more information on lawmakers' ties to pharma? Explore our Pharma Cash To Congress database.