HLC Newsletter

Senate Should Refrain from Seeking Drug Price Controls, Health Leaders Say

HLC President: There Are More Effective Ways to Achieve Affordability that Won’t Undermine Future Medical Innovation

WASHINGTON – Amidst reports that U.S. Senate Democrats have reached agreements on portions of a reconciliation package that will include drug pricing provisions, the president of the Healthcare Leadership Council (HLC) warned that instituting federal price controls on prescription medications will have severe ramifications for patients and the nation’s healthcare system.

“’Negotiation’ is a misnomer when Congress proposes an expansion of federal engagement in Medicare Part D drug pricing,” said HLC president Mary R. Grealy. “It’s replacing actual private sector price negotiations – which have been successful in keeping Part D premiums affordable since the inception of the program – with a dynamic in which the federal government can arbitrarily impose a take-it-or-leave-it price. Artificially-low price ceilings will inevitably have an impact on the resources available to develop new treatments, cures and vaccines.”

Ms. Grealy said the proposed reconciliation bill provisions would bring upheaval to a Medicare prescription drug program that enjoys tremendous support among the nation’s seniors. Annual surveys, she said, have shown consistently that over 80 percent of seniors enrolled in Part D and Medicare Advantage prescription drug plans approve of their coverage and large majorities say it is a good value. She said shifting decisionmaking powers over the Part D program from the marketplace to the government could have negative effects on a program that works well and the Medicare enrollees who depend on it.

She said, “Policymakers should continually work to improve affordability. We have long supported, for example, approaches that reduce out-of-pocket costs for seniors and persons with disabilities. There are patient-centered approaches to affordability that won’t interrupt and delay progress to more effective treatments for Americans with heart disease, diabetes, cancer and other serious illnesses.”


For Immediate Release
July 7, 2022
Contact: Kelly Fernandez  202-449-3452