WASHINGTON – House Speaker Nancy Pelosi’s office is working to garner support for a last-minute proposal to cut prescription drug costs after the White House dodged the issue Thursday morning, according to four informed sources of the policy.
The new policy, which Pelosi’s office touts as a collaboration between House Energy & Commerce President Frank Pallone (DN.J.) and Rep. Scott Peters (D-Calif.), Would allow Medicare to negotiate drug prices. administered by doctors. and at the pharmacy counter, after their so-called exclusivity period, granted by the Food and Drug Administration, has expired, four sources said.
The interim deal would also penalize drugmakers for raising prices faster than inflation in both the employer-sponsored insurance market and medicare. Seniors would see their reimbursable drug costs capped each year.
“We’re working on a negotiated price bill and I think we’ll get there,” Pallone told STAT in a brief interview on the Capitol Thursday night when asked if he had made a deal with Peters.
Peters, in a separate hallway interview, said there was no final deal yet and the proposal did not yet have Senate buy-in.
“[Pallone] has come a long way on politics, but we need to get 50 votes in the Senate. We don’t have that yet, ”said Peters.
A spokesperson for Peters said he would need the support of 50 senators before committing to a deal, and this has yet to be reached, but he pledged to work in good faith with his colleagues from both chambers to reduce drug prices.
One of the most important skeptics to convince will be Senator Kyrsten Sinema (D-Arizona). Sinema was willing to accept a more limited proposal pushed by Peters, a source close to her thought said. Politico first signaled Sinema’s support for Peters’ idea.
The proposal is not yet final, the four sources said, and the details of the policy are subject to change.