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US Senate to block Democrats' drug-pricing bill
US Senate to block Democrats' drug-pricing bill

Washington, Sep 20 (TIWN) US House Speaker Nancy Pelosi on Thursday unveiled a long-awaited plan to cut prices for prescription drugs, but the proposed bill was adamantly opposed by Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, who vowed not to take it to the floor.

The plan, a top priority for Democrats this year, would allow the secretary of Health and Human Services to negotiate the price of up to 250 drugs annually and take reference from data provided by Medicare, Medicaid, and commercial insurance in determining the aggregate cost, according to a legislative summary distributed to lawmakers.  The drugs whose prices will be subject to adjustments are those without "a generic or biosimilar competitor on the market," read the summary.  In addition, pharmaceutical companies that refuse to negotiate or fail to reach a pricing agreement with the government will be fined.  The penalty starts at 65 percent of the gross sales of the drug in question and will increase by 10 percent each quarter a manufacturer is out of compliance, according to the summary.

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