The Senate Committee on Health, Education, Labor and Pensions (HELP) will host a bipartisan bill next week on legislation to lower drug prices, committee chairs announced Tuesday.
The May 2 price hike will include bills to increase generic drug competition, transparency in the pharmacy benefit manager (PBM) industry and access to treatments for rare disease patients.
The price hike shows there is still a way forward for bipartisan work to cut prescription drug prices that could pass the Senate. PBMs in particular have come under pressure from multiple quarters.
The HELP committee bills could be combined with a bipartisan PBM bill sponsored by Sens. Maria Cantwell (D-Wash.) and Chuck Grassley (R-Iowa) of the Senate Commerce Committee, and legislation reducing out-of-pocket expenses for insulin limit at $35 for those with private insurance.
But it’s still unclear if, even with some bipartisan support, there would be enough Republicans voting to get the required 60 votes in the Senate.
It’s also unclear whether the GOP-controlled House would have an interest in including the legislation, particularly if it included insulin caps. But there was some bipartisan interest in drug pricing proposals in the House of Representatives, particularly those focused on PBMS.
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