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 PelosiCummings to lie in state at the Capitol House Republicans 'demand the release of the rules' on impeachment Overnight Health Care — Presented by National Taxpayers Union —Dem wants more changes to Pelosi drug pricing bill | Ebola outbreak wanes, but funding lags | Johnson & Johnson recalls batch of baby powder after asbestos traces found 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 MurphyLawmakers set to host fundraisers focused on Nats' World Series trip House Democrats change drug pricing bill in bid to address progressive concerns Hillicon Valley: Zuckerberg to testify on Libra | Extremists find home on Telegram app | Warren blasts Facebook for not removing anti-Biden ad | California outlaws facial recognition in police body cameras | China rips US tech sanctions 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 GrassleyState cites 38 people for violations in Clinton email review Lawmakers from both sides of the aisle mourn Cummings GOP cautions Graham against hauling Biden before Senate MORE (R-Iowa) and Sen. Ron WydenRonald (Ron) Lee WydenHillicon Valley: GOP lawmakers offer election security measure | FTC Dem worries government is 'captured' by Big Tech | Lawmakers condemn Apple over Hong Kong censorship Lawmakers condemn Apple, Activision Blizzard over censorship of Hong Kong protesters Hillicon Valley: Zuckerberg defends handling of misinformation in political ads | Biden camp hits Zuckerberg over remarks | Dem bill would jail tech execs for lying about privacy | Consumer safety agency accidentally disclosed personal data 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.