WASHINGTON, D.C. – U.S. Senator Amy Klobuchar today re-introduced legislation to help lower prescription drug prices for seniors. The bill—the Medicare Prescription Drug Price Negotiation Act—would empower Medicare to negotiate for the best possible price of prescription medication for America’s seniors who are enrolled in Medicare Part D. Current law only allows for bargaining by pharmaceutical companies and bans Medicare from doing so. The bill would help cut costs for more than 35 million seniors and boost Medicare savings. Klobuchar introduced similar legislation in the previous Congress.
“We shouldn’t be saddling our seniors with inflated drug prices for vital medications,” said Klobuchar. "This is a matter of fairness for our seniors, who deserve affordable prices for their prescription drugs, and it is a matter of fairness for America's taxpayers, who deserve less waste in our system. This legislation would mean more affordable drugs for seniors and real savings for Medicare.”
The Medicare Prescription Drug Price Negotiation Act would allow the Secretary of Health and Human Services (HHS) to directly negotiate with drug companies for price discounts for the Medicare Prescription Drug Program, eliminating the “non-interference” clause that expressly bans Medicare from negotiating for the best possible prices even though the government can often can often negotiate bigger discounts than insurance companies. Senators Al Franken (D-MN), Jeanne Shaheen (D-NH), Mark Begich (D-AK), Tim Johnson (D-SD), and Bernie Sanders (I-VT) are cosponsoring the bill.