Sanders 'disappointed' in House panel's vote on drug prices

Sanders 'disappointed' in House panel's vote on drug prices
© Greg Nash

Sen. Bernie SandersBernie SandersOvernight Health Care — Presented by Carequest — Study finds Pfizer vaccine almost 91 percent effective for 5 to 11 year olds The Hill's Morning Report - Presented by Uber - Manchin, Sanders in budget feud; Biden still upbeat Democratic frustration with Sinema rises MORE (I-Vt.) said he is “disappointed” with a House panel’s vote on Wednesday to block legislation to lower drug prices. 

I'm very disappointed in the vote today on prescription drugs by the House Energy and Commerce Committee,” Sanders said on Twitter.

“I get that the pharmaceutical industry owns the Republican Party and that no Republican voted for this bill, but there is no excuse for every Democrat not supporting it,” he added. 

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The legislation to allow the secretary of Health and Human Services to negotiate lower drug prices was voted down in the House Energy and Commerce Committee by three moderate Democrats who said it would harm innovation from drug companies. 

Reps. Kurt SchraderWalter (Kurt) Kurt SchraderHouse passes bills to secure telecommunications infrastructure Democrats weigh changes to drug pricing measure to win over moderates Internal battles heat up over Biden agenda MORE (D-Ore.), Scott PetersScott H. PetersWho is afraid of the EU's carbon border adjustment plan? Overnight Health Care — Presented by The National Council on Mental Wellbeing — Merck asks FDA to authorize five-day COVID-19 treatment Democrats weigh changes to drug pricing measure to win over moderates MORE (D-Calif.) and Kathleen RiceKathleen Maura RiceDemocrats weigh changes to drug pricing measure to win over moderates Internal battles heat up over Biden agenda Moderate Democrat says he can't back House spending plan 'in its current form' MORE’s (D-N.Y.) votes put them in direct conflict with their party, which has made passing legislation to lower drug prices a primary goal for their $3.5 trillion spending package. 

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Schrader highlighted his concerns about the government getting involved in drug prices, saying the legislation would eliminate "jobs and innovation that drives cures for these rare diseases."

Energy and Commerce Committee Chairman Frank Pallone Jr. (D-N.J.) said that a measure to lower drug prices will be included in the final spending bill, adding that negotiations on the provision were expected.  

“The good news is that the full Congress must and will do far better. At a time when the drug companies are charging us by far the highest prices in the world, Congress must demand that Medicare negotiate prices with this extremely greedy and powerful industry,” Sanders said on Twitter.