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Big Pharma And The GOP Are Looking To Sabotage Medicare Drug Prices

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While the Biden administration looks to implement a recently passed law that will allow Medicare to negotiate drug prices for the first time in its history, the pharmaceutical industry and its Republican allies in Congress are looking to stop that from happening.

A new report revealed that Sen. Marco Rubio (R-Fla.) and several other Republican senators introduced legislation that would repeal the new prescription drug pricing reforms, which Congress approved earlier this year as part of the Inflation Reduction Act—a measure that Republicans unanimously opposed.

“Though chances of this repeal effort succeeding are vanishingly slim with Democrats holding the Senate and White House, conservative lawmakers and their outside allies want to impede the law’s progress before its expansion becomes inevitable,” Politico reported Thursday.

Big Pharma lobbied aggressively against the Medicare drug pricing provisions, hysterically claiming the modest and extremely popular changes could send the U.S. “back into the dark ages of biomedical research.”

Rubio echoed the pharmaceutical industry’s talking points while speaking to Politico.

“I want drug prices to be lower but we have to do it in a way that doesn’t undermine the creation of new drugs,” Rubio said. “Companies are not going to invest in developing new treatments unless they believe they have a chance to make back their money with a profit.”

The new law wasn’t necessarily as ambitious as progressives wanted. But it does require Medicare to negotiate prices for a small number of drugs which could still have a significant impact on costs.

Beginning next year, the law will also require drug companies to pay Medicare a rebate if they raise their drug prices at a faster rate than inflation. Additionally, the law will limit monthly insulin cost-sharing to $35 for people with Medicare Part D starting in 2023.

Politico noted Thursday that the deep-pocketed drug industry—which boasts nearly three registered lobbyists for every member of Congress—is “gearing up to fight the law’s implementation, using whatever legal and regulatory tools are available.”

You can read the full report HERE.

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