Yet Another Deal

This time it is a drug pricing deal.

The House recently came to an agreement on the drug pricing promise of the Biden admin….

House Democratic leaders are making a last-minute change to their deal to lower prescription drug prices to resolve a dispute that arose over the wording of the measure, according to a source familiar with the process. 

The compromise follows a meeting Thursday night between Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.), Rep. Scott Peters (D-Calif.) and other lawmakers to resolve the issue as House leaders race to line up the votes for President Biden‘s social spending package.

The compromise will add an additional year of exclusivity before Medicare will be able to negotiate prices for certain complex drugs known as biologics, moving the total from 12 years to 13 years.

The last-minute dispute arose from how the text of the drug pricing agreement was drafted. The agreement announced earlier this week was to allow Medicare to negotiate drug prices after a period of exclusivity: nine years for many drugs and 12 years for more complex biologics. 

This was actually written down in the text with the numbers seven years and 10 years, though, because drafters noted there is a two-year delay for the negotiation process to play out, meaning the numbers seven and 10 in actuality translated to nine and 12. 

Peters and a handful of other moderates wanted the exclusivity period to fully expire before negotiations could begin, the source said, effectively adding another two years, to bring the totals to 11 years and 14 years, depending on the type of drug

Delaying the start of Medicare negotiating drug prices by any amount of time was already a concession to their position. But many drug pricing advocates have still praised the agreement announced earlier this week as a step in the right direction, even if it does not go as far as they would like.

(thehill.com)

Yet another ‘kick the can down the road” compromise by Dems….which can die in the Senate ….and we all know how useless the Senate is these days.

The health industry has another win under their belt and it only cost $171 million…..

As Common Dreams has reported, pharmaceutical corporations and private health insurers spent $171 million on lobbying through the first nine months of the year, the most of any industry. Big Pharma’s 1,600 lobbyists outnumber members of Congress by a ratio of three to one.

According to the Post‘s analysis of OpenSecrets data, “The industry’s focus on drug pricing has increased dramatically in recent years as the issue became more top-of-mind for voters. In 2012, lobbyists registered to work on the issue of ‘drug prices’ 69 times for 20 different clients. In 2021 so far, they have filed to lobby on the issue 1,192 times for 242 different clients.”

Despite the fact that 83% of U.S. adults want the federal government to reduce the costs of medications, for which Americans pay two to four times more than people in other countries, the provision that would have authorized Medicare to do so was briefly removed due to the intransigence of a handful of right-wing Democrats bankrolled by Big Pharma—including Sen. Bob Menendez (N.J.), Sinema, Manchin, and Reps. Kathleen Rice (N.Y.), Scott Peters (Calif.), and Kurt Schrader (Ore.).

https://www.commondreams.org/news/2021/11/05/big-pharma-spent-horrifying-sums-money-weaken-drug-price-reform

Obscene profits is far more important than the health of the nation…..and thanx to the spinelessness of moderate Dems they are protected.

The Congress is a farce….and that is me being polite.

I Read, I Write, You Know

“lego ergo scribo”