Industry-Funded Republicans Parrot Big Pharma on Drug Price Negotiations

Polling information released this week exhibits that just about 90% of Republican voters help permitting Medicare to barter drug costs instantly with pharmaceutical firms.

However congressional Republicans — a lot of whom obtain substantial funding from the pharmaceutical business — have staked out the alternative place, bashing the Biden administration’s rollout of the preliminary listing of medicines that can be topic to cost negotiations and parroting drugmakers’ arguments towards the favored reforms.

“The Inflation Discount Act’s socialist drug value controls will stunt the event of lifesaving therapies and cures whereas granting the federal government extra pointless management over Individuals’ lives,” Sen. Marsha Blackburn (R-Tenn.) wrote on social media, invoking the well-worn and misleading narrative that curbing medication prices would stifle innovation.

Blackburn acquired $215,500 in marketing campaign donations from pharma and different well being product PACs between 2017 and 2022, according to OpenSecrets.

“Did a Massive Pharma CEO write these speaking factors for you on the again of a marketing campaign examine?” Tennessee State Rep. Gloria Johnson (D-90) wrote in response to Blackburn. (Johnson is presently exploring a U.S. Senate run towards the Republican.)

Each GOP lawmaker within the U.S. Home and Senate voted towards the Inflation Discount Act (IRA), which requires Medicare to barter the costs of a subset of high-cost prescribed drugs. After the laws handed, Republicans swiftly started working to roll it again, taking specific aim at Medicare’s new authority to barter drug costs, that are far higher within the U.S. than in different rich nations.

Republican presidential candidates — together with former President Donald Trump, the frontrunner for the GOP nomination — have additionally vocally criticized the regulation and recommended they might work to repeal it in the event that they win in 2024.

Earlier this week, the Facilities for Medicare and Medicaid Providers listed the first 10 drugs it plans to barter, drawing predictable backlash from the pharmaceutical business, which lobbied towards the IRA’s passage and is now suing over the drug pricing provisions. A number of of the medication included on the preliminary listing had been already set to face generic competitors within the coming years.

The Congressional Finances Workplace has estimated that the IRA’s drug pricing reforms will save Medicare $160 billion over the following decade.

With President Joe Biden trying to make the drug value negotiations a centerpiece of his 2024 reelection marketing campaign, Republican strategists are urging the GOP to aggressively counter the White Home with messaging that mirrors business claims in regards to the IRA’s potential impression on innovation — claims that advocates have lengthy dismissed as false and self-serving.

“Republicans have to determine easy methods to go after it,” Joe Grogan, a Republican strategist who served as a home coverage adviser for Trump, told Politico. “They go after it by taking it head on: it’s killing medical packages, basically limiting the quantity of therapies.”

Some GOP lawmakers are taking simply that method.

Sen. Mike Crapo (R-Idaho), whose marketing campaign received $253,400 from pharma and well being product PACs between 2017 and 2022, mentioned in a statement Tuesday that Medicare value negotiations “threat reversing many years of progress on bringing lifesaving therapies and medical breakthroughs to American sufferers.”

Rep. Jason Smith (R-Mo.), who has received donations from drug firms which can be suing the Biden administration over the value negotiations, added that “the Biden administration is making an attempt to take a victory lap whereas on the similar time they’re pricing seniors out of their healthcare and guaranteeing future cures by no means attain those that want them.”

A 2021 report by Sufferers for Reasonably priced Medicine concluded that “Massive Pharma’s innovation argument simply doesn’t stand as much as scrutiny,” noting that “the cash that U.S.-based drug firms make by charging Individuals excessive costs is 76% better than what’s wanted to fund their complete international analysis and improvement expenditures.”

Democrats have vowed to fight makes an attempt by the pharmaceutical business and Republicans to sabotage or repeal the IRA, which represents a modest effort to rein in drugmakers’ energy to drive up costs.

“The merchandise that can now be topic to negotiation are utilized by thousands and thousands of seniors in Medicare every year, costing every of them 1000’s of {dollars},” mentioned Sen. Ron Wyden (D-Ore.), chair of the Senate Finance Committee. “I can be following the negotiation course of carefully and can struggle any try by Massive Pharma to undo or undermine the progress that’s been made.”

Rep. Raja Krishnamoorthi (D-Sick.) argued Wednesday that “any effort by far-right Republicans to color decreasing the prices of prescription drug costs for Individuals as a nasty factor is laughable.”

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