Senate Spending Bill Includes Measure Mandating Drug Prices Be Listed In Ads

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Evie Fordham Politics and Health Care Reporter
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The Senate’s health care spending bill that passed Thursday included a last-minute amendment mandating pharmaceutical companies list drug prices in advertisements.

The bipartisan amendment was sponsored by Republican Iowa Sen. Chuck Grassley and Democratic Illinois Sen. Dick Durbin. The measure is still a long way from taking effect — the Senate’s spending bill will need to be reconciled with the House’s bill before going to the president.

“This drug pricing proposal was supported by both Democratic and Republican senators, the American Association of Retired Persons, the American Medical Association, America’s health insurance plans, 76 percent of the American people, President Donald Trump, and the Department of Health and Human Services. The only group who opposed it? Big Pharma,” Durbin said in a statement Thursday. “More information gives transparency to the transaction, and will help give American consumers a break and start to slow down the skyrocketing cost of prescription drugs.”

Drug companies and pharmaceutical industry lobbying groups are against the measure, saying it could cause confusion among consumers and might violate the First Amendment, reported The Hill.

The measure, if passed, could cause confusion because in virtually all cases patients do not pay list prices for drugs because of insurance coverage, according to Axios.

“What we’re up against here is a very powerful interest in this town,” Grassley said Thursday according to The Hill. (RELATED: Ohio Reports Its Medicaid Expansion Helped 290,000 Enrollees Transition Off Because Of Jobs Or Raises)

The amendment’s intended goal fits with the Trump administration’s stated goal of increased accountability for Big Pharma and lower drug prices.

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