Published by Inside Health Policy
The House Ways & Means health subcommittee will hold a hearing on promoting competition to lower prescription drug prices in Medicare on March 7, chair Rep. Lloyd Doggett (D-TX) announced Thursday (Feb. 28). The committee is the latest to join the congressional dogpile of hearings on the issue, including a two-day Senate Special Committee on Aging hearing, of which the second session will be held on the same day.
Allowing Medicare to directly negotiate drug prices was a topic of heated discussion during the full Ways & Means drug-pricing hearing on Feb. 12. Overall committee ranking Republican Rep. Kevin Brady (TX) came out staunchly against the proposal. Doggett promoted his price-negotiation bill that includes compulsory licensing as an enforcement tool, but also maintained his stance that he is open to other negotiation models.
Doggett’s price-negotiation bill is the highest-profile proposal thus far with more than 100 House co-sponsors. It would allow HHS to negotiate prices for all Medicare Part D drugs, though Republicans largely inquired about how to address the costs of expensive, single-source drugs. — Rachel Cohrs (firstname.lastname@example.org)