CAHC: Speaker Pelosi's Government-Run Prescription Drug Plan is a Nonstarter

WASHINGTON, DC (September 19, 2019): The Council for Affordable Health Coverage (CAHC) – a coalition of employers, insurers, patient groups, PBMs, brokers, agents, life science companies, and physician organizations – responded today to the introduction of H.R. 3, the Lower Drug Costs Now Act.

The long-awaited drug pricing plan from Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) would direct the government to "negotiate" prices - both in Medicare and for employer and private health plans - with manufacturers on a broad range of therapies. International reference pricing would be used as a factor to determine prices and businesses who do not acquiesce to government rates would face new taxes up to 95 percent of the previous year's sales on the contested product.

"Patients deserve serious solutions to high drug costs that can be made into law in a divided Congress. Speaker Pelosi's partisan price control plan isn't it," said CAHC President Joel White. "Instead of putting market forces to work to allow competition to flourish, this plan would kill price discounts and set prices for a broad range of therapies while using the threat of crippling new taxes to force businesses' compliance. Less competition leading to fewer products will, in turn, mean fewer therapies for patients. There is ample evidence this approach won’t work. Canada, which has a price-fixing system, has only 46 percent of the new medicines available to patients elsewhere. This is not a good deal for consumers, and we shouldn’t adopt such a system here."

White concluded, "Lawmakers do not have to take this path. CAHC members have worked diligently across partisan differences and industry lines to develop a roadmap of drug affordability solutions that can save tens of billions of dollars, all while protecting the patient access and innovation that is a hallmark of our healthcare system. We will continue to champion ideas that can bring relief at the pharmacy counter without levying unintended consequences for patients and taxpayers."