Advocacy & Practice Updates — Advocacy & Practice
Senate Passes Medicare Drug Pricing Negotiation
After nearly two years of internal Democratic party negotiations, the Senate this week passed on a party-line vote a sweeping budget reconciliation bill that authorizes Medicare to negotiate drug prices. Reducing Medicare drug spending is meant to act as a cost off-set for other provisions in the bill aimed at mitigating climate change, tax reform and deficit reduction. The bill requires Medicare to negotiate with manufacturers of a limited number of high-cost drugs—both those furnished under Part B and Part D—and penalizes manufacturers that do not participate in the negotiation. The bill provides 13 years of exclusivity for large-molecule biologic drugs before mandatory negotiation kicks in. The House of Representatives is expected to pass the bill later this week and the President is expected to sign it into law shortly thereafter.