News & Views: 9/28 - 10/4

October 5, 2021

Chairman of the Senate Finance Committee, Senator Wyden has clarified that he will not extend Medicare negotiated prices to the commercial markets.

Sen. Wyden had previously released his principles for any upcoming drug pricing legislation, which included negotiated prices extended to all Americans. As part of the ongoing debates for the drug pricing legislation, however, Sen. Wyden has now compromised that negotiated prices will be limited to Medicare. He stated that even if prices only apply to Medicare “history shows that changes made in Medicare almost always migrate to the private sector.” To read the full article, click here.

  • To read Senator Wyden’s Principles for Lowering Drug Prices for Americans, click here.

The House Judiciary Committee passed four drug patent bills that all aim to improve generic and biosimilar entry and competition.

The bills HR 2883, HR 2891, and HR 2884 all rewrite antitrust and patent enforcement laws.  HR 2873 aims to reduce the number of patent thickets by limiting the number of patents on a brand drug to 20 patents. The four bills were not included in the final H.R. 3 proposal but are included in Rep. Peters (D-CA) alternative drug pricing proposal. To read the full press release, click here.

A Public Citizen report found that the US spends nearly double than what the rest of the world spends on the top 20-selling drugs.

Public Citizen found that of the 2020 combined sales of the top 20-selling drugs, the US spends $101.1 billion while sales for the rest of the world combined totaled $57 billion. The analysis also examined specific drugs that have significant sales revenue disparities between the US and the rest of the world, including Gilead’s Biktarvy, AbbVie’s Humira, Eli Lily’s Trulicity, Roche’s Ocrevus, and Amgen and Pfier’s Enbrel. To read the full report, click here.

A new Morning Consult-POLITICO national tracking survey examined voter opinions on the upcoming packages.

The poll was a nationally representative survey of 1,999 registered voters from September 24-27. The respondents were informed of the 2019 CBO score that H.R. 3 would reduce federal spending by $456 billion but could also result in fewer drugs introduced to the market before asked if they support negotiation. After given that context, the majority of respondents said they were still in favor of the plan, including 73% of Democrats and 42% of Republicans. To read the entire article, click here.

  • To view full survey results, click here.

A new POLITICO-Harvard poll sought to determine the public’s priorities in the infrastructure and social spending packages.

The poll surveyed 1,006 adults from September 14-19 and of the respondents only 16% said they were “very closely” watching the ongoing debates in Congress. However, when given a choice of 20 policy proposals that are included in those debates, 39% of respondents chose allowing direct government price negotiation with drug manufacturers as their top priority. To read the full article, click here.

  • To view the polling results, click here.

CIDSA Experts in the News

Ge Bai spoke with reporters at MarketWatch on Pfizer’s recent lawsuit challenging policies that prohibit drugmakers from giving Medicare patients direct copay assistance. Bai explains that the ruling, in favor of the federal government, is “bad news for drug companies’ revenue but good news for overall drug spending.” While Pfizer claimed that direct copay assistance would lower out-of-pocket costs, drug spending experts agree that a ruling in Pfizer’s favor would have increased drug prices and Medicare spending. To read the full article, click here.

Stacie Dusetzina and Rachel Sachs spoke with reporters at KHN on Pharma’s newest ad that claims negotiation would “swipe $500 billion from Medicare.” Sachs explains that the point of negotiation is “to spend less on the drugs we’re already buying and put the money back into the health system.” Dusetzina also points out that the US has the largest prescription market, so it is unlikely that large drug companies would stop selling their drugs in the US. To read the full article, click here.

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