Meadows pushes to let insurance companies jointly negotiate drug prices
By Staff Reports
Congressman Mark Meadows has filed a bill to allow insurers to jointly negotiate prices of prescription drugs purchased from manufacturers, his office announced Friday.
The bill, HR 2038, the State-Based Market-Oriented Prescription Drug Negotiations Act, seeks to address the need for competition by allowing that negotiation, drawing on Switzerland’s framework to create a safe harbor from antitrust liability for private health insurers and allow them to jointly negotiate with drug manufacturer’s Meadows’ release says.
“As prescription drug spending rises to nearly 20-percent of health care costs, the cost of potentially life-saving prescription drugs continues to rise, putting Americans at risk of being priced out of the market,” the statement says. “Competitive negotiations are needed to involve more players in the market and lower drug prices for consumers.”
The bill also aims to balance out the power of the pharmaceutical industry by limiting further consolidation in the healthcare market.
“With the rapid increase in prescription drug spending, it’s critical that we take meaningful steps to lower out-of-pocket costs of prescription drugs and improve access for patients,” Meadows says in the release. “Increasing competition and choice in the marketplace, as this bill does, will be an effective path forward for achieving those goals. If we allow insurers to jointly negotiate prices of prescription drugs purchased from drug manufacturers, we can foster the kind of competitive economic environment in the prescription drug industry that will allow for lower prices that is ultimately more beneficial for patients and consumers. The age-old principle remains: consumer choice — not top-down government price controls — is the key to giving Americans more access to lower cost, life-saving prescription drugs.”