Pelosi to introduce plan to lower cost of prescription drugs: report

Pelosi to introduce plan to lower cost of prescription drugs: report
© Greg Nash

Speaker Nancy PelosiNancy PelosiDemocrats offer mixed reactions to Trump's Mideast peace plan James Taylor to perform at awards ceremony for Ruth Bader Ginsburg this week Trump offers two-state peace plan for Israeli-Palestinian conflict amid skepticism MORE (D-Calif.) will reportedly introduce a plan on Thursday to lower the costs of 250 of the most expensive prescription drugs.

The proposal would allow the Department of Health and Human Services to negotiate the prices of the 250 costliest drugs that lack at least two competitors, pegging their costs to the generally much lower costs in other countries, according to NPR.

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The proposal would also reportedly fine drugmakers that refuse to negotiate and impose upper limits on price increases. The planned release follows communication on the matter between the party’s left and centrist flanks.

"We appreciate that Speaker Pelosi took the time to meet with the Blue Dogs to discuss a path forward to lower the cost of prescription drugs," Rep. Stephanie MurphyStephanie MurphySan Francisco mayor endorses Bloomberg Rep. Bobby Rush endorses Bloomberg's White House bid Sanders, Warren battle for progressive endorsements MORE (Fla.), co-chair of the center-right Blue Dog Democrats, said after a meeting with Pelosi Tuesday on the proposal, NPR noted.

"Our constituents want to see solutions implemented today, and we hope House Republicans will join in coming forward with bold solutions to bring down drug costs and increase transparency surrounding drug pricing,” she added.

Coalition members, many of whom represent swing seats newly flipped in the 2018 midterms, are hopeful that action on drug prices can help illustrate that the Democratic House majority is focused on issues other than investigations of the White House and questions of impeachment, according to NPR.

"Members would like to be talking less about impeachment and more about an issue that their constituents are bringing up at every town hall back home," a source at the meeting told the network. “We’re eager to see the legislation itself.”

With only 34 legislative days remaining in 2019, House committees hope to take up the proposal in the next week and pass it out of the House by year’s end, according to NPR.

In the Senate, meanwhile, Senate Finance Committee Chairman Chuck GrassleyCharles (Chuck) Ernest GrassleyOvernight Energy: Democrats unveil draft climate bill | Plan aims for carbon neutrality by 2050 | GOP senators press IRS on electric vehicle tax credit GOP senator: John Bolton should go public with what he knows GOP senators press IRS on enforcement of electric vehicle tax credit MORE (R-Iowa) and Sen. Ron WydenRonald (Ron) Lee WydenTax season could bring more refund confusion Hillicon Valley — Presented by Philip Morris International — Wyden asks NSA to investigate White House cybersecurity | Commerce withdraws Huawei rule after Pentagon objects | Warren calls on Brazil to drop Greenwald charges Wyden vows push to force release of Khashoggi assessment MORE (D-Ore.) reached a deal in July to limit out-of-pocket costs under Medicare’s Part D prescription drug program to $3,100 annually, with Grassley moving a draft version of the proposal out of committee, the network noted.