The new House democrats medicare negotiations bill represents a turning point, with broad support for using robust compulsory licensing authority to protect access if negotiations on prices break down. The press conference announcing the bill featured several Democratic members of the House of Representatives, and patient advocates. Rob Weissman from Public Citizen gave a very strong endorsement, as did Nancy Altman from Social Security Works.
Representative Lloyd Doggett led the work on this bill, working with Representatives Welch, Cummings, Khanna and others.
KEI’s view is that that medicare negotiations are quite important, and the bill takes a huge step in protecting patient interests in negotiations, but also note that 84 percent of US population and a majority of patients for many treatable diseases do not qualify for medicare.
The Democrats need to expand the compulsory licensing ambitions so that it will protect everyone from excessive prices.
The Democrats also need to understand and endorse the progressive delinking of R&D incentives from drug prices, so that access and innovation are not at odds with each other.