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Latest From Michael McCaughan
First hearing on the House leadership’s drug price “negotiation” proposal suggests that the real goal of the plan may be to shape negotiations over drug pricing bills – not to create an international price benchmark.
The House Democratic leadership is pushing an international benchmark price for its 'negotiation' plan in the US. The summaries have focused on the maximum price, but the one-sided “negotiation” process suggests that the minimum is the more relevant number – and it is likely to be quite low.
It may seem perverse to look for silver linings for the drug industry in the House leaderships “price negotiation” bill. But if you can get past Title 1, the bill reads like an attempt to negotiate with the Senate Finance Committee – and it’s not all bad.
Pelosi is moving forward with a draconian plan to limit US prices to an international benchmark. For now, the “bill” is a three-page outline subject to considerable legislative drafting – and so extreme as to rule out bipartisan compromise for the time being.
It is now a common assertion among insurers that one of the many challenges they face in covering high-priced specialty therapies is that drugs are approved with “less evidence” than used to be the case. That is more myth than reality – but a very dangerous myth if it isn’t corrected by the US FDA and the drug industry.
The most important thing to know about a draft version of the House Democratic leadership’s proposed drug price negotiation plan is that it is still just a draft – not the draft – much less a bill that could pass the Democratic controlled House, to say nothing of the GOP controlled Senate.