April 09, 2021
News: Lobbyists Fight Democratic Proposals on Drug Pricing, Vaccine Access
Pharmaceutical corporations are preparing for battle as President Biden considers whether to waive patent protections on vaccines to help other nations fight the coronavirus and House Democrats write legislation to require Medicare to negotiate the price of drugs.
Pharmaceutical corporations have a long history of successfully keeping Medicare from negotiating drug prices. Industry lobbyists reportedly plan to combine strong public approval following the development of Covid-19 vaccines with their usual power to oppose Democratic priorities that would hurt their profit margin. The drug corporations’ trade association, Pharmaceutical Research & Manufacturers of America (PhRMA), was the third largest spender on lobbying in 2020, investing $26 million to protect their bottom line.
“PhRMA has had some success in the past and most recently was able to keep H.R.3, the Lower Drug Costs Now Act passed by the Democratic House in 2019, from reaching the Senate floor,” said Robert Roach, Jr., President of the Alliance. “Now we have another opportunity to allow Medicare to not only negotiate drug prices but also expand the program to include vision, hearing and dental coverage. I expect them to fight us tooth and nail, but Alliance members are prepared to make their voices heard.”