Comprehensive Negotiation Bill to Stop Prescription Price Gouging

***Press Release***

Press release header


July 29, 2021

Contact: Kate Stotesbery



Comprehensive Negotiation Bill to Stop Prescription Price Gouging

Washington, D.C. — Today, U.S. Representative Lloyd Doggett (D-TX), Chair of the House Ways & Means Health Subcommittee, along with more than 55 Members, introduced patient-first, expansive drug price negotiation legislation to rein in Big Pharma’s monopoly power, negotiate reasonable prices, and ensure every consumer—including the uninsured—receives the benefit. Harnessing the power of competition to end monopoly prices, the Medicare Negotiation and Competitive Licensing Act finally lifts the wrongful prohibition on Medicare to negotiate drug prices and works to heal our deeply fractured health care system that leaves so many patients behind. Americans pay more for prescription drugs than patients in any comparable country, with patients paying an average of $1,200 annually on prescriptions. The Medicare Advisory Payment Commission (MedPAC) recently found drug spending grew by 26% in Medicare from 2013-2018, nearly all “due to higher prices and launches of new drugs, rather than an increase in the number of prescriptions filled.”

“No patient should be left out or left alone to suffer or die from prescription price gouging. The Medicare Negotiation and Competitive Licensing Act is the comprehensive legislation Americans so urgently need to afford essential medicines,” said Congressman Doggett. “Instead of yielding to Big Pharma by greatly weakening the already modest H.R. 3, now is the time to strengthen it. Unlike H.R. 3, this bill unequivocally repeals the Republican-imposed prohibition on government price negotiation. It ensures every drug is eligible for negotiation, including generics, newly launched drugs, and taxpayer-funded drugs, and that every American, regardless of whether they have insurance, receives the benefit. This legislation also extends price spike protections to every patient and provides meaningful transparency for all drugs regarding the costs and funding sources for drug development, advertising, executive compensation, and more. To overcome Big Pharma’s many innovative techniques to extend their monopolies and charge monopoly prices, we need effective and comprehensive government price negotiation, not a weak proposal that protects manufacturers’ profits at the expense of patients’ pocketbooks.”

The Medicare Negotiation and Competitive Licensing Act represents the most comprehensive legislative proposal to stop prescription price-gouging, finally empower Medicare to negotiate prescription drug prices, and to reform the broken system of pharmaceutical pricing in the United States. It addresses the deficiencies of H.R. 3, the Lower Drug Costs Now Act, and offers a genuine path forward to deliver meaningful price reductions while protecting and encouraging the development of more innovative cures. 

This legislation will:

  • Assure every American benefits from lower negotiated prices, including the tens of millions of uninsured and underinsured Americans
  • Fully lift the Republican-imposed ban on price negotiation, not maintain it with only a narrow exception for a few drugs
  • Directly address manufacturers’ monopoly power and harness generic competition through licenses and royalty fees if a manufacturer refuses to sell a drug at a reasonable price
  • Prevent egregious price spikes above the rate of inflation across all drugs and for all Americans, not just Medicare beneficiaries
  • Negotiate launch prices rather than allowing manufacturers to have at least 2 years’ exclusivity before the small chance of being subject to negotiation
  • Ensure reasonable prices on all drugs, including generics and drugs with limited competition
  • Permit negotiation on as many drugs as possible, not arbitrarily limit how many drugs will be negotiated per year
  • Assure taxpayer funding is appropriately accounted for in the negotiation process
  • Provide meaningful transparency on the cost of development, marketing expenses, executive compensation, and more for all drugs, not just those with outrageous price spikes

Endorsements: Public Citizen, Center for Medicare Advocacy, NETWORK, Social Security Works, Alliance for Retired Americans, Indivisible, National Nurses United, Center for Popular Democracy Action, Progressive Change Campaign Committee


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