House Democrats reintroduce bill to lower drug prices

Apr. 22, 2021 3:47 PM ETPfizer Inc. (PFE), MRK, JNJ, ABT, BMY, AMGN, ABBV, RHHBY, GSK, AZN, NVS, XLV, IBB, XBI, XPH, IHE, PPH, VHTPFE, MRK, JNJ, ABT, BMY, AMGN, ABBV, RHHBY, GSK, AZN, NVS, XLV, IBB, XBI, XPH, IHE, PPH, VHTBy: Jonathan Block, SA News Editor383 Comments
  • Rep. Frank Pallone, Jr. (D-N.J.) reintroduced H.R. 3, legislation that would allow the federal government to negotiate prescription drug prices.
  • The bill would cap seniors' out-of-pocket costs on prescription drugs to $2000/year, require drugmakers to issue rebates to the federal government if they raise drug prices faster than inflation, and empower the Health and Human Services secretary to negotiate drug prices for Medicare and make those prices available to commercial health insurance plans.
  • It would also create an "international pricing index" as a means to more closely align the U.S. with other countries in terms of drug prices.
  • The legislation mirrors a bill that passed the House in 2019 but ultimately died in the Senate.
  • A December 2019 CBO report evaluating that bill estimated the price negotiations would save the federal government ~$456B over 10 years and $42B in savings to Medicare from improved health outcomes.
  • Pallone said that in his state in 2017, 24% of residents didn't take medications as prescribed because of high costs.
  • Selected pharma and biotech stocks in afternoon trading: Pfizer (NYSE:PFE) -2.1%; Merck (NYSE:MRK) -1.7%; Johnson & Johnson (NYSE:JNJ) -0.8%; Abbott (NYSE:ABT) +1.1; Bristol-Myers Squibb (NYSE:BMY) +0.1%; Amgen (NASDAQ:AMGN) -1.3%; Abbvie (NYSE:ABBV) -0.5%; Roche (OTCQX:RHHBY) -1.6%; GlaxoSmithKline (NYSE:GSK) -1.3%; AstraZeneca (NASDAQ:AZN) -0.8%; and Novartis (NYSE:NVS) -0.5%.
  • Selected pharma and biotech ETFs in afternoon trading: (NYSEARCA:XLV) -0.5%, (NASDAQ:IBB) -0.2%, (NYSEARCA:XBI) +1.1%, (NYSEARCA:XPH) -0.1%, (NYSEARCA:IHE) -0.8%, (NASDAQ:PPH) -0.8%, and (NYSEARCA:VHT) -0.4%.

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