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RELEASE: New CAP Column and Brief Detail How Drug Pricing Legislation Would Lower Costs for Patients, Employers, and Taxpayers

Washington, D.C. — As Congress begins advancing President Joe Biden’s Build Back Better agenda, one of the key topics the American people say should be Congress’ top priority is lowering the cost of prescription drugs. Key drug pricing proposals being debated by Congress include empowering Medicare to negotiate for lower drug prices, preventing drug prices from increasing faster than inflation, and creating an annual out of pocket maximum for drug spending, among others. A new column and issue brief from the Center for American Progress examine how these policies could dramatically improve the health and financial well-being of the American people by making prescription drugs more affordable and accessible.

The column includes new estimates for how much H.R. 3 might lower the Medicare Part D net price of 22 prescription drugs that are most likely to be eligible for negotiation under the legislation. For example, the analysis forecasts that diabetics could see a price reduction between $28 and $176 for a typical monthly supply of commonly prescribed insulin drugs, whereas multiple sclerosis patients who have been prescribed Acthar could see the price of a three-week course of treatment go down by $99,592. The piece contextualizes and explains the bill’s creation of a rebate program for drugs whose prices are increasing faster than inflation.

The issue brief examines 7 ways how legislation to lower drug prices could meaningfully lower costs for patients and employers by reducing health insurance premiums and cost sharing and imposing an annual out-of-pocket maximum on prescription drug spending. The piece also reviews how the proposals under discussion could benefit seniors, women, people of color, and people with disabilities, among others.

“Drug companies are making record profits while spending more on stock buybacks and dividends than research and development for new treatments, which is why the American people know that the current system isn’t designed to serve their needs. Empowering Medicare to negotiate for lower drug prices, preventing prices from increasing faster than inflation, and capping patients’ annual out-of-pocket liability for prescription drugs are commonsense solutions that will produce meaningful savings for patients and taxpayers. It’s time for Congress to beat the historical odds and finally lower drug prices,” said Emily Gee, senior economist of Health Policy at CAP.

Please click here to read: “H.R. 3 Could Save Patients Thousands of Dollars on Prescription Drugs” by Nicole Rapfogel, Emily Gee, and Maura Calsyn

Please click here to read: “7 Ways Drug Pricing Legislative Proposals Would Lower Costs for Consumers and Businesses” by Nicole Rapfogel, Maura Calsyn, and Colin Seeberger

For more information or to speak with an expert, please contact Colin Seeberger at cseeberger@americanprogress.org or 202.741.6292.