Democrats in the House and Senate are seeking support for a proposal aimed at bringing down prescription drug prices — compiling ideas proposed in separate bills since the start of the year, including government negotiations and allowing importation.
The bill, titled the Improving Access to Affordable Prescription Drugs Act, includes requirements for drugmakers to publically disclose research, manufacturing and marketing costs, and would criminalize pay-for-delay schemes to hold off generic competition.
The HHS secretary would be given one year to negotiate prices of a particular product, prioritizing specialty and high-price drugs. If those negotiations fail, Medicare will use the prices paid by the Department of Veterans Affairs.
The HHS inspector general would monitor changes in prices, subjecting manufacturers to an excise tax if the cost of a product rises faster than the rate of medical inflation. Companies would be able to work with the Federal Trade Commission to justify price increases due to supply chain changes. Additionally, companies would not be able to claim tax benefits for direct-to-consumer advertising.