Democrats in the US Senate Reach Agreement on Measures to Reduce Drug Prices
The Democratic Party of the United States has reached an agreement that will allow the United States government to negotiate directly with drug manufacturers on pricing. A plan to cut the price of prescription drugs was approved by President Joe Biden.
Democrats’ deal on prescription drugs would lower costs for seniors
The Democratic Party of the United States in the Senate supported the decision to include a plan to reduce drug prices in the $1.75 trillion social sector spending program, presented by President Joe Biden. The US government will now be able to negotiate directly with pharmaceutical companies on drug pricing. This is especially true for drugs that are in demand among the elderly population. This was announced by the leader of the majority in the Senate Chuck Schumer, writes the New York Times.
The measures taken are aimed at curbing high prices for drugs in the United States and bringing them in line with prices in other developed countries. According to research by the Brookings Institution, Americans pay about three times as much for drugs as in Europe. As a result, about 75% of the profits of global pharmaceutical companies come from sales in the United States.
The agreement will reform the entire pharmaceutical industry and health insurance system, Schumer said. He added that new drug pricing measures would allow Medicare members to spend no more than $2,000 a year on medicines. The senator did not specify which drugs will cover the costs. It is known that the US Secretary of Health will select the initial 12 drugs from the list of the most expensive drugs that cannot be replaced by cheaper generics. By 2028, this list will increase to 30 drugs.
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The agreement also provides for the establishment of an inflation-indexed price ceiling. Such a threshold would force drug manufacturers to pay money to the government if drug prices rise faster than inflation. The move has been vigorously opposed by pharmaceutical firms, which spend more on lobbying campaigns in Washington every year than any other industry.
The Democratic deal hastened Congress approval of Biden’s spending program. The plan to cut drug prices was previously excluded by the country’s president from the program, becoming the subject of strife among members of the legislature, which ended with an agreement adopted today.
In September of this year, the Biden administration unveiled a roadmap to lower the price of prescription drugs. Key measures outlined in the document include allowing Medicare to participate in price negotiations, stimulating competition among pharmaceutical companies, and supporting research into new drugs.
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