Senate Majority Leader Mitch Mc Connell (R-Ky.) refused to hold a vote on a House-passed bill that could lower the cost of prescription drugs for breast cancer, diabetes, and more.
According to an analysis by GoodRx of new drug price increases, the prices of 498 drugs have increased by an average of 5.2% since Jan. 1. A drug to help with arthritis, Humira, has increased in cost by 7.4%, for example. And the price of Premarin, a drug to fight breast cancer, increased by 5%.
The bill called the Elijah E. Cummings Lower Drug Costs Now Act, H.R. 3, passed in December, would allow the federal government to negotiate the cost of certain prescription drugs and do more to limit drug price hikes.
The GoodRx analysis also said that H.R. 3 could lower the cost of other drugs that increased in cost in 2020, including medication dealing with diabetes, multiple sclerosis, and arthritis. The costs of drugs provided by the committee would drop in price ranging from a 73% drop for Gilenya, a medication for multiple sclerosis, to a 96% drop for Premarin, according to The American independent.
In an email to The American Independent, the committee revealed that the House-passed bill would lower the cost of Humira by 81%, from $34,411 per year to $8,276 per year. For Premarin, the House-passed measure would drop the cost by 96%, from $568 to just $21 per year.
A committee representative noted it is “very possible” that other drugs that saw a cost increase in 2020 would see a price reduction if H.R. 3 became law, but the committee did not include them in the list provided because they were not part of the 2019 Ways and Means analysis.
McConnell opposed the bill in September 2019, stating at the time, “of course we’re not going to be calling up a bill like that.” He has not made any moves since then. McConnell’s office did not respond to a request for comment.