The pharmaceutical industry has opposed drug price adjustments in social spending and climate legislation, but hasn’t been vocally opposed to the insulin bill. While the bill lowers costs for many individual patients who take insulin, it does nothing to lower the prices paid to companies that do. Instead, insurance companies would only pay a larger fraction of the price. Congressional Budget Office estimated He said the bill would increase government spending, as health insurers, including Medicare, would be responsible for a larger portion of insulin costs.
But given how prevalent diabetes is in the United States and easier to resolve than the prices of prescription drugs in general, consumer insulin costs have emerged as a powerful political issue. President Biden at a White House event in December a centered speech about prescription drugs around the cost of insulin.
“We can say that we all agree that prescription drugs are extremely expensive in this country, regardless of our background, age, or where we live,” said Mr Biden. patients with diabetes talked about their struggles to buy the drug.
The debate over broader legislation has slowed, but not died out. Senator Joe Manchin III, a West Virginia Democrat and major centrist opposition, has expressed support for the prescription drug provisions in the bill, although he is more skeptical about other parts of the package.
At her weekly press conference on Thursday, California Spokesperson Nancy Pelosi sought to portray the passage of the insulin bill as progress toward the party’s broader drug pricing agenda. She described insulin prices as a “kitchen table problem”.
Referring to the secretary of the Department of Health and Human Services, he added, “For us, it’s a step forward for the secretary to be able to negotiate lower drug prices beyond insulin.”
Senator Patty Murray, a Washington Democrat and chair of the Senate’s Committee on Health, Education, Work and Pensions, is a co-sponsor of similar insulin laws in her chamber. She said she is determined to pass a full package of prescription drug price reforms, but views the insulin issue as particularly urgent.