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3 Wednesday, September 11, 2019 18:38

Pelosi tries to split Trump, Republicans over drug pricing

“She wants to divide Republicans,” said former Trump HHS official Chris Meekins, now a drug industry analyst at Raymond James. “She knows full well the Senate will never let it happen.”The six-page proposal that surfaced Monday and that Pelosi’s office says is still subject to change is more progressive than many expected.

It calls for the government to negotiate the prices of the 250 costliest medicine — including insulin. The amounts would be pegged to the lower costs that prevail in developed countries overseas, including much of Europe. The Trump administration has also embraced the concept, known as an international price index, in a huge break with GOP orthodoxy.

Top Democrats insist the plan is not a political maneuver and that leadership is focused solely on writing the most ambitious bill possible. But by including Trump’s proposal on foreign pricing, the Pelosi draft offers a more expansive vision than the White House-backed legislation currently stalled in the Senate.

In many ways, it captures the spirit of Trump’s populist rhetoric about greedy drug companies getting away with murder.“There’s no reason in the world why everyday Americans pay more for lifesaving prescription drugs than any other country in the world,” New York Rep. Hakeem Jeffries, who chairs the House Democratic caucus, said Tuesday, echoing some of the president’s most reliable applause lines.

“Big pharma and its anti-competitive practices are totally out of control. We need to put an end to it.”Pelosi is also aiming for a sweet spot between moderate pragmatists and her party’s fiery progressive wing.“The whole goal has been to make sure this is something that could actually get signed into law,” said Rep.

Mark Pocan (D-Wis.), who co-chairs the Congressional Progressive Caucus that has made drug pricing a signature focus. Prescription Pulse A weekly briefing on pharmaceutical policy news — in your inbox. Email Sign Up By signing up you agree to receive email newsletters or alerts from POLITICO.

. You can unsubscribe at any time. Drug industry experts say Pelosis gambit puts Trump and Senate Republicans in a bind, by either forcing a tough vote on an issue that looms large heading into the 2020 election or making the.....


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