What You Need to Know
- Biden already has called for the FDA to help states and tribes import prescription drugs from Canada.
- He focused in his remarks on letting Medicare negotiate drug prices.
- The president said savings on drugs could help Medicare expand its benefits menu.
President Joe Biden fought for changes in Medicare drug price rules Thursday, in remarks at the White House.
Biden called for Congress to give Medicare the same ability to negotiate drug prices that the program has to negotiate prices for other products and service.
Biden talked about the effects of the drug price issue on his own family.
“I remember what it was like for my mom as she got older and moved in with us,” he said. “Her prescription drugs were so expensive that it took me, my two brothers and my sister — three siblings — chipping in to cover the thousands of dollars in monthly costs that she did — that she had to exhaust, rather than exhaust the little savings she had, for her prescription drugs.”
The heart of the Biden administration proposal would be a system for setting base prices for drugs. The base prices would reflect research and development costs and the need for the manufacturer to earn a significant profit, Biden said.
“Our plan says that drug companies can only raise prices based on the rate of inflation after it’s determined how much they’ve invested and what a healthy profit constitutes,” Biden said.