Pelosi’s drug pricing plan is more aggressive than expected

Nicholas Florko and Lev Facher

WASHINGTON — House Speaker Nancy Pelosi’s plan to lower drug costs is dramatically more aggressive than expected, according to copies shared with STAT by multiple lobbyists.

The plan is sure to please House progressives who have agitated for bold policy on drug prices but, at least as drafted, has almost no chance of winning conservative support. The plan allows the federal government to negotiate the price of 250 medicines and forces drug makers to offer those prices commercially. It appears to abandon a controversial proposal to use third-party arbitration for negotiating leverage. It would also dramatically alter the way Medicare divides responsibility for drug costs between pharmaceutical companies, insurers, and taxpayers.

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