Drug Price Reforms Return to the Senate’s Agenda

After more than a year of deliberation and false starts, Congress might finally reform pricing and federal purchasing of prescription drugs in the fall, D.C. insiders tell AIS Health, a division of MMIT. The substance of the drug pricing bill is similar to previous proposals, but the political ground inside the Democrats’ Senate caucus may have shifted enough to allow prescription drug pricing to eke through as part of a diminished catch-all spending bill that would still be the signature achievement of the beleaguered Biden administration.

Progress on the drug pricing bill resumed when Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-N.Y.) on July 7 submitted the text of a bill to the Senate parliamentarian. The parliamentarian will deem whether the bill conforms with the Senate rules that govern the budget reconciliation process. Budget reconciliation is an arcane procedure that allows the Senate to pass legislation with a simple majority, so long as the bill in question relates largely, in the parliamentarian’s judgment, to the budget.

© 2024 MMIT
Peter Johnson

Peter Johnson

Peter has worked as a journalist since 2011 and has covered health care since 2020. At AIS Health, Peter covers trends in finance, business and policy that affect the health insurance and pharma sectors. For Health Plan Weekly, he covers all aspects of the U.S. health insurance sector, including employer-sponsored insurance, Medicaid managed care, Medicare Advantage and the Affordable Care Act individual marketplaces. In Radar on Drug Benefits, Peter covers the operations of (and conflicts between) pharmacy benefit managers and pharmaceutical manufacturers, with a particular focus on pricing dynamics and market access. Before joining AIS Health, Peter covered transportation, public safety and local government for various outlets in Seattle, his hometown and current place of residence. He graduated with a B.A. from Colby College.

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