At the heart of the Biden government’s proposal would be a system of basic drug pricing. (Photo: Al Drago / Bloomberg)
President Joe Biden campaigned for changes to Medicare drug pricing rules in a White House statement Thursday.
Biden called on Congress to give Medicare the same ability to negotiate drug prices that the program has to negotiate prices for other products and services.
Related: Laws to Control Drug Price Hikes from Committee to Senate Entire
Biden spoke about the impact the drug price issue had on his own family.
“I remember what it was like for my mother when she got older and moved in with us,” he said. “Her prescription drugs were so expensive that me, my two brothers, and my sister – three siblings – helped cover the thousands of dollars in monthly expenses it caused – that she had to use instead of exhausting her small savings , for their prescription drugs. “
At the heart of the Biden government’s proposal would be a system of basic drug pricing. Base prices would reflect research and development costs as well as the need for the manufacturer to make a significant profit, Biden said.
“Our plan is that drug companies can only raise prices based on the rate of inflation after determining how much they have invested and what makes a healthy profit,” said Biden.
Other provisions in the plan would include cap Medicare members spending on prescription drugs at $ 3,000 a year and requiring drug manufacturers to sell drugs to their distributors at the same prices as Medicare, or an excise tax of 95 otherwise % are subject.
Biden said the proposal would work in conjunction with other actions by his government, such as ordering the Food and Drug Administration to help states and tribes import medicines from Canada.
If Medicare can save money on prescription drugs, it can afford to add dental, visual, and hearing benefits, Biden said.
Response from drug manufacturers
Stephen Ubl, president of Pharmaceutical Research and Manufacturers of America, said in a statement that PhRMA stands ready to do its part to reduce costs for patients.
“Unfortunately, the guidelines outlined by the president today would undermine access to life-saving drugs and not address an insurance system that would pass the treatment costs on to patients at risk,” said Ubl. “It’s a misguided approach.”