A Rare Loss for U.S. Pharma Lobby Will Cost the Industry Billions
Deep in a budget deal Congress passed earlier this year -- just 118 words in Section 53116, a little before passages on prison reporting data and payment yields for seed cotton -- was a hit to pharmaceutical companies that will cost them billions, and could signal more losses to come.
Despite an intense lobbying push, lawmakers changed a Medicare rule, putting manufacturers on the hook for more of seniors’ prescription costs. The companies will have to offer a much more generous discount to beneficiaries who fall into the so-called donut hole coverage gap, marking down retail costs by 70 percent instead of the current 50 percent.
It was a rare defeat for some of the biggest spenders in the political influence game and raised new questions about how they’ll fare in upcoming battles. Lawmakers have introduced bills that would squeeze the industry, and President Donald Trump has said he will roll out proposals this month to curb drug prices.