Congress Considers Drug Pricing Legislation to Help Pay for Growing List of Legislation

Endocrine Society Continues to Advocate for Insulin Affordability

Congressional leaders are continuing to discuss legislative options to address the rising cost of prescription drugs and the Endocrine Society continues to be one of the most vocal advocates urging Congress to address insulin affordability this year.

The path forward for passing legislation to lower drug costs is unclear, but it is increasingly being discussed to help offset the costs associated with the growing list of social legislation President Joe Biden and the Democrats hope to pass this year. Congress was preparing a Budget Resolution that would include measures to reduce patient spending on prescription drugs.

The path forward for passing legislation to lower drug costs is unclear, but it is increasingly being discussed to help offset the costs associated with the growing list of social legislation President Joe Biden and the Democrats hope to pass this year.

Congressional leaders have sought our feedback on policy options. We met with Majority Leader Chuck Schumer’s (D-NY) office and the Senate Finance Committee staff, both of whom asked us to weigh-in on possible options to address this issue. The political obstacle for the Democrats is how to hold their party together because some progressives are looking for regulation of price while some moderates are seeking other measures to control consumer costs. Senate Finance Committee Chair Ron Wyden (D-OR) has been negotiating with lawmakers for weeks on a new drug-pricing bill that falls somewhere between House Democrats’ sweeping government price negotiation bill, H.R. 3, and the bipartisan bill he crafted with Sen. Charles Grassley (R-IA) last Congress that would slap inflationary rebates on drug makers but not give the government power to negotiate prices. Wyden is said to be looking at a version of drug price negotiation that does not rely on foreign prices as the gauge and that ratchets back the number of drugs for which prices would be negotiated.

The Endocrine Society has stressed that action is needed urgently. We expressed that government negotiation is the best solution for lower the price of insulin.

The Endocrine Society has stressed that action is needed urgently. We expressed that government negotiation is the best solution for lower the price of insulin. However, we also shared that rebate reform would be an effective option to lower the cost of insulin for consumers and may be the more feasible way to address this problem in the current Congress. We continue to share our position statement on access to affordable insulin with policy makers. Our statement includes both a recommendation for price negotiations, and a recommendation to lower the cost of insulin by passing the rebate savings directly to the consumer at the point of sale. The Society also conducted a virtual Hill Day during the week of July 19 for our clinician members so that they could meet with targeted congressional offices and discuss the importance of insulin affordability.

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