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Thursday, September 26, 2019
Urge Democrats: Fight for a progressive plan to crack down on Big Pharma
Petition to the House Ways & Means, Education & Labor and Energy & Commerce Committees: "Fight for the most progressive plan to crack down on predatory Big Pharma. At the very least, any proposal to negotiate drug prices must include more than 25 drugs per year with no ceiling on the total number and policies to address high prices at initial launch."
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Under pressure from House progressives, Speaker Pelosi just unveiled a better-than-expected plan to crack down on predatory Big Pharma prices.1But this plan still isn't as strong as what we need to bring drug prices down and stop Big Pharma's out-of-control greed.And there's a real risk it gets watered down even more in fruitless negotiations. We can't let that happen –we need to keep up the pressure for the most progressive plan possible.
Sen. Warren's plan would direct the government to manufacture generic drugs. Sens. Sanders and Merkley and Rep. Ro Khanna's plan would force companies to follow international average prices or face tough consequences. Rep. Lloyd Doggett's bill would allow Medicare to negotiate discounts and let the government issue a license to produce a generic version of the drug if Big Pharma refuses to negotiate in good faith.2,3
Democratic leaders took these bold plans off the table. Their plan is weaker than the progressive options, but tougher than some of the draft plans that were floated by some of Speaker Pelosi's closest allies. It instructs HHS to negotiate the prices of only a minimum of 25 pharmaceutical drugs each year, with an unnecessary maximum of 250. It leaves room for prices above international standards and for Big Pharma to launch new medicines with absurdly high prices only to "bargain" them down. It levies penalties instead of creating competition when Big Pharma refuses to negotiate. It does include important protections to cap out-of-pocket pay under Medicare Part D and repeal some recent price hikes, and it does not include Pelosi's horrible earlier idea to let corporate-friendly arbitration panels set drug prices.4
Our voices helped block a terrible Big Pharma-friendly Democratic proposal, but we need to fight to improve the new Democratic plan and keep pushing for progressive plans that actually crack down on Big Pharma and deliver lower prescription drug prices for the American people.
Tell Democrats: Fight for a progressive plan to crack down on Big Pharma. Click below to sign the petition: