Obama's new budget proposes historic, direct drug price negotiations in Medicare

February 2, 2015 8:44 PM

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This provision will undoubtedly elicit howls of protest from GOP lawmakers and the biopharma industry. Companies that make the sort of high-cost biologics that such negotiating power is intended to discount (including Gilead and its hep C meds, novel personalized therapies like Vertex's Kalydeco, and imminent monoclobal antibodies for cholesterol and cancer) are likely to argue that their products provide immense value, and that having to negotiate with a payer the size of the federal government (rather than private plan sponsors) would de-leverage the industry's bargaining power to an unacceptable degree.

Those arguments could also hold sway in a Congress that's received plenty of pharmaceutical industry money (for top Democrats and Republicans alike). BioPharma Dive reached out to PhRMA for the trade organization's official statement on the president's proposal, and will update this article once it'...

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