The Plan for Lowering Drug Prices is Impending
For years, Prescription drugs have been skyrocketing. Democrats have fought with the pharmaceutical industry in hopes of achieving an evasive goal. Democrats hope a law that could make prices cheaper by allowing Medicare to negotiate with drug makers.
Now Democrats are on the verge of passing a bill that would do just that. As it processes, it also delivers a victory President Biden and his party can take to voters in November.
Lowering Prescription Drug Costs
Giving Medicare the authority to negotiate prices for up to 10 drugs along with several other services. It would be the most fundamental change to health policy since the Affordable Care Act became law in 2010, affecting most of the US population. It could also save some older US citizens thousands of dollars in medical costs each year.
The bill would extend, for three years, the larger premium that low and middle-income citizens have received during the COVID-19 pandemic to get health coverage under the Affordable Care Act. Also allow those with higher incomes to become eligible for such subsidies during the pandemic to keep them.
Remarkably, it also limits how much Medicare recipients have to pay from their pockets for drugs at the pharmacy. It is a huge benefit for the beneficiaries who spend more than that each year, usually on medicines for serious diseases like cancer or multiple sclerosis. Lower prices would make a huge impact in the lives of people who can’t afford their drug costs.
Between 2009-2018 the average price for a brand-name prescription doubled prescription drugs in Medicare Part D, a program that covers products dispensed at a pharmacy. Between 2019 and 2020, the prices increase. Price increased outpaced inflation for half of all drugs covered by Medicare.
United States have higher prescription drug prices than those in other countries. A report from the RAND Corporation from 2021 found that drug prices in the US were seven times higher the price than in Turkey.
Signing The Legislation
This new legislation targets commonly used drugs. The industry has been criticized for using strategies to extend the patent period.
The bill outlines which the drugs would be chosen, but the ultimate decision would rest with the health secretary. Analysts say that the bill would hurt drug makers’ bottom lines. RBC Capital Market analysts estimated that most companies who are affected by the measure would bring in 10 to 15 percent less revenue by the end of the decade.
If the bill passes, it will penetrate the drug industry’s power in Washington. “It’ll open doors for more drugs to become subject to negotiations.” said Leslie Dach.- Founder of Protect Our Care, an advocacy group.
“Once you lose your invincibility,” Dach says, “it’s a lot easier for people to take the next step.”