WASHINGTON, DC – There is no mistake now. Yesterday’s rushed markup of Speaker Pelosi’s partisan plan made clear that Democrats accept that this bill will result in fewer cures for patients relying on American innovation for hope.
As many as 15 (that is a low, partial estimate from CBO) new drugs will be lost because of this bill. Think about that. What if one of those new drugs is a cure to Alzheimer’s? Or Cancer? Or ALS?
WATCH ➡ “I frankly think it’s worth it,” said Congressman Darren Soto, a Democrat from Florida, in response to that question at the markup.
The American people disagree – 65% of Americans oppose any plan that would limit access to newer prescription drugs, according to a recent Kaiser poll.
Republicans disagree as well. “One new cure stopped is one too many,” said Energy and Commerce Republican Leader Greg Walden (R-OR).
That’s why Republicans repeatedly offered substantive solutions during yesterday’s markup to bring Democrats back to the table on bipartisan proposals – like CREATES, Pay for Delay, Medicare Part D reform – many of which Democrats have already supported.
But for Democrats, what the Speaker says goes, and so a path forward for patients was rejected.
Bottom line from the markup: Republicans offered bipartisan solutions to lower drug costs. Democrats offered fewer cures.
Here’s what they are saying
By Reps. Greg Walden, Kevin Brady, and Virginia Foxx
We want to work with Democrats to lower drug prices, but the Speaker’s partisan policies will not work. For one, they could lead to higher prices for consumers. Not lower. These policies would lead to limits on access, making prescription drugs less available. Not more. And these policies will freeze innovation, reducing the investment in advanced treatments to cure serious illnesses – like Alzheimer’s and cancer. We will not see the next generation of cures, and Americans will suffer because of it.
Washington Examiner: Democrats charge ahead on Pelosi drug pricing bill
By Kimberly Leonard
House Democrats rejected an amendment to pass bipartisan drug pricing legislation during a fraught markup Thursday, choosing instead to charge ahead on Speaker Nancy Pelosi’s partisan bill.
The amendment from Rep. Greg Walden was a package of four bills that House Republicans and Democrats had worked on together to help lower prescription drug costs and bring more generics to market. Walden urged Democrats to support it because the Pelosi bill would not become law under a GOP-controlled Senate.
Inside Health Policy: Energy & Commerce, Ed & Labor Pass Pelosi’s Rx Pricing Plan
By Rachel Cohrs
Walden’s plan also included the Creating and Restoring Equal Access To Equivalent Samples (CREATES) Act, a bill targeting pay-for-delay deals between brands and generics, a bill that aims to discourage generic drug makers from parking patents for an extended time, a requirement that 75% of 340B drug discounts be passed directly to patients, a prohibition on spread pricing in Medicaid, and the Senate Finance Committee’s value-based state Medicaid drug contract provision.
“This amendment represents a drug pricing package that could become law,” Walden said
By Alexander Ruoff , Shira Stein , and Gerald Porter Jr.
Republicans have largely dismissed the measure as damaging to new drug development and the pharmaceutical industry. They’ve pointed to a Congressional Budget Office estimate that as many as 15 new drugs won’t be created as a result of the legislation.
“We believe many more will never enter or leave a lab or a trial or find their way to a sick or dying patient,” Oregon Republican Greg Walden said.
By Andrew Siddons
Republicans have criticized Democrats from retreating from bipartisan talks on drug pricing legislation, including revamping Medicare’s prescription drug benefit, in favor of the proposal backed only by Democrats.
GOP lawmakers argue the bill would lead to less innovation and fewer new treatments
By Berkeley Lovelace Jr.
Republican members on the committee expressed concerns with the legislation, particularly that it would discourage innovation for new medicines in the pharmaceutical industry. Some GOP members said the legislation was rushed and dead on arrival in the Senate.
“I don’t believe that I was elected to write bills that would never go anywhere,” said Michael Burgess of Texas, the top Republican on the Energy and Commerce Committee’s health panel. “And that’s exactly where this bill is headed.”
The Hill Overnight Health Care: House Dems advance drug pricing bill
By Nathaniel Weixel and Jessie Hellmann
Republicans have accused Democrats of rushing a partisan bill through committee, and the Energy and Commerce amendments reflected their frustration.
Reality check: The bill will pass the House, but has basically no chance of being taken up in the GOP-controlled Senate.