House Passes Drug Price Negotiating Bill

Legislation stands no chance in the Republican-controlled Senate
Peter Wehrwein

House Democrats passed their drug pricing bill on Thursday that would take the dramatic step of allowing the federal government to negotiate lower prices under Medicare’s prescription drug program.

The vote was 230-192. House Speaker Nancy Pelosi made changes that satisfied progressives. No Democrat voted against it.  

But the Republican-controlled Senate is not going to pass the bill—or anything like it—so legislative efforts to control drug prices may grind to halt. 

The House bill requires the HHS secretary to negotiate prices for 50 to 250 branded medicines every year. Prices would be capped at 120% of the average price in several other high-income countries.