Speaker Nancy Pelosi

U.S. House of Representatives

H.R. 3 – The Lower Drug Costs Now Act

Prescription drug prices are out of control. Big pharmaceutical companies are charging Americans prices that are three, four, or even ten times higher than what they charge for the same drugs in other countries – even though they admit they still make a profit overseas.  

The soaring cost of insulin provides one of the starkest examples of broken drug pricing.  Even though insulin was invented in 1922, its inflation-adjusted per-unit price has, at least, tripled between the 1990s and 2014. In the United States, insulin costs per patient have nearly doubled from 2012 to 2016.

The soaring price of prescription drugs is crushing Americans at the pharmacy counter, driving up health insurance premiums, and creating unaffordable costs for taxpayers who finance Medicare and Medicaid.  And instead of using their multi-billion dollar windfalls from the GOP tax scam to either lower prices or to invest in research, Big Pharma used the money for stock buybacks – further evidence that out-of-control drug prices are padding corporate profits instead of fueling the search for new cures.

Yet the law currently forbids Medicare from negotiating lower drug prices, even as drug companies raise prices on seniors and beneficiaries without any limit. That ends with the Lower Drug Costs Now Act, H.R. 3.

How The Lower Drug Costs Now Act Works

With the Lower Drug Costs Now Act, House Democrats are taking bold action to level the playing field for American patients and taxpayers, delivering on one of the top priorities of our For The People agenda. This bill:

  • Ends the ban on Medicare negotiating directly with the drug companies, and creates powerful new tools to force drug companies to the table to agree to real price reductions, while ensuring seniors never lose access to the prescriptions they need.

  • Makes the lower drug prices negotiated by Medicare available to all Americans, including those with private insurance, not just Medicare beneficiaries.

  • Stops drug companies ripping off Americans while charging other countries less for the same drugs, limiting the maximum price for any negotiated drug to the average price in countries like ours, where drug companies charge less for the same drugs – and admit they still make a profit.

  • Creates a new, $2,000 out-of-pocket limit on prescription drug costs for Medicare beneficiaries, and reverses years of unfair price hikes above inflation across more than 8,000 drugs in Medicare.

  • Reinvests in innovation and the search for new cures and treatments, using some of the savings from lowering the unjustified drug prices that are bankrolling Big Pharma’s stock-buybacks to reinvest billions of dollars in the search for new breakthrough treatments and cures at NIH.

To read more about H.R. 3, the Lower Drug Costs Now Act, click here.