If you go by the text of the bill at THOMAS (as of this writing, anyway), it’s co-sponsored by “Mr. Christopher Murphy of Pennsylvania” which is an error that will hopefully be corrected.
On a conference call with reporters this morning, Representative Chris Murphy says that HR4 will “mandate that the federal government, through the Secretary of Health and Human Services, negotiate lower prices with the drug industry.” As it is right now, the federal government is prohibited from negotiating for lower prices, which is tantamount to gifting huge amounts of our tax dollars to pharmaceutical companies.
The Medicare Drug Price Negotiation Act of 2007 is a first step toward fixing the Medicare Part D mess left behind by former 5th Congressional District Representative Nancy Johnson.
To amend part D of title XVIII of the Social Security Act to require the Secretary of Health and Human Services to negotiate lower covered part D drug prices on behalf of Medicare beneficiaries.
Be it enacted by the Senate and House of Representatives of the United States of America in Congress assembled,
SECTION 1. SHORT TITLE.
This Act may be cited as the `Medicare Prescription Drug Price Negotiation Act of 2007′.
SEC. 2. NEGOTIATION OF LOWER COVERED PART D DRUG PRICES ON BEHALF OF MEDICARE BENEFICIARIES.
(a) Negotiation by HHS- Section 1860D-11 of the Social Security Act (42 U.S.C. 1395w-111) is amended by striking subsection (i) (relating to noninterference) and inserting the following:
`(i) Negotiation of Lower Drug Prices-
`(1) IN GENERAL- Notwithstanding any other provision of law, the Secretary shall negotiate with pharmaceutical manufacturers the prices (including discounts, rebates, and other price concessions) that may be charged to PDP sponsors and MA organizations for covered part D drugs for part D eligible individuals who are enrolled under a prescription drug plan or under an MA-PD plan.
`(2) NO CHANGE IN RULES FOR FORMULARIES-
`(A) IN GENERAL- Nothing in paragraph (1) shall be construed to authorize the Secretary to establish or require a particular formulary.
`(B) CONSTRUCTION- Subparagraph (A) shall not be construed as affecting the Secretary’s authority to ensure appropriate and adequate access to covered part D drugs under prescription drug plans and under MA-PD plans, including compliance of such plans with formulary requirements under section 1860D-4(b)(3).
`(3) CONSTRUCTION- Nothing in this subsection shall be construed as preventing the sponsor of a prescription drug plan, or an organization offering an MA-PD plan, from obtaining a discount or reduction of the price for a covered part D drug below the price negotiated under paragraph (1).
`(4) SEMI-ANNUAL REPORTS TO CONGRESS- Not later than June 1, 2007, and every six months thereafter, the Secretary shall submit to the Committees on Ways and Means, Energy and Commerce, and Oversight and Government Reform of the House of Representatives and the Committee on Finance of the Senate a report on negotiations conducted by the Secretary to achieve lower prices for Medicare beneficiaries, and the prices and price discounts achieved by the Secretary as a result of such negotiations.’.
(b) Effective Date- The amendment made by subsection (a) shall take effect on the date of the enactment of this Act and shall first apply to negotiations and prices for plan years beginning on January 1, 2008.