(WASHINGTON) — Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer announced Tuesday that Democrats have reached a deal on a measure aimed at lowering the cost of prescription drugs as part of President Joe Biden’s “Build Back Better” package.
This is one of the last major remaining hurdles for agreement on the reconciliation effort to pass the sweeping social and climate policy measure, and Schumer said that Arizona Democratic Sen. Sinema, a holdout on prescription drugs, supports this new plan.
The deal includes: Direct government negotiation on the price of insulin and a smaller universe of drugs that are no longer protected from competition; a cap on out of pocket prescription drug expenses for seniors at $2,000 annually; if the cost of a drug rises faster than inflation, that manufacturer would pay a rebate penalty to Medicare (this penalty would apply to all drugs both in Medicare and in commercial insurance.
“We’ve heard this from people across the country who have serious illnesses and can’t afford their medicine,” Schumer said. “What a painstaking position to be in, it’s horrible. Today we’ve taken a massive step forward in helping to alleviate that problem. “
This is a developing story. Please check back for updates.
Copyright © 2021, ABC Audio. All rights reserved.