Senate pushes for stronger drug-pricing policy than Trump proposal | Modern Healthcare

Members of the Senate Finance Committee on Tuesday called on the Trump administration to use stronger tactics to curb high drug prices than its tempered strategy unveiled last month.

In its first hearing on the White House’s drug pricing blueprint, lawmakers on both sides of the aisle pushed for price controls and broad-strokes negotiation. The central focus of the White House’s proposal is moving Medicare Part B drug purchasing to the Medicare Part D model, in which prices are negotiated by pharmacy benefit managers.

Sen. Debbie Stabenow (D-Mich.) specifically urged HHS Secretary Alex Azar to take a heavier hand on negotiating opioid overdose-reversal drugs like Naloxone and Narcan, the nasal spray version of Naloxone that states are administering widely in first-response efforts. The set discount for Narcan puts the price-per-dose at $78 even though in 2005 Naloxone cost just $1, Stabenow said, escalating the money states need to spend on drugs versus other treatment.

Other lawmakers went further, including Sen. Bill Cassidy (R-La.), who advocated for reference pricing for the U.S. that would use the average prices of drugs in other developed countries as a baseline to determine the U.S. consumer list prices.

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Senate pushes for stronger drug-pricing policy than Trump proposal – Modern Healthcare.