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.