Prescription drug companies and their legions of Washington lobbyists are strapping in for their rockiest year on Capitol Hill in at least a decade, as newly empowered House Democrats prepare a raft of bills to check U.S. drug prices.
Democrats surged to power in the 2018 midterm House elections promising to protect Americans from ever-increasing prescription costs. They are buoyed by populist anger in individual states and a potential — if unpredictable — ally on the issue in Trump.
The biggest idea in the House to reduce drug costs is to require Medicare to exercise its enormous leverage as the nation’s largest payer for health care and negotiate lower prices with drug companies.
Other Democratic proposals include: ending industry strategies that delay generics; requiring price transparency for drugs discovered with taxpayer money; curbing lucrative industry rebates to insurance companies (which critics call kickbacks); and allowing the import of drugs from Canada.