The House Ways and Means Committee last night voted 24-17 to approve a revised version of the Lower Prescription Drug Costs Now Act (H.R. 3), legislation that would make a series of changes to the Medicare program in an effort to lower the price of prescription drugs.
 
The legislation would increase the number of single-source drugs from 25 to 35 that the Department of Health and Human Services would be required to negotiate directly with drug manufacturers. The bill, which was introduced last month, would, among other provisions, apply new inflationary rebates to Medicare Part B and Part D drugs that have had price increases above the rate of inflation since 2016; cap the Medicare Part D annual out-of-pocket limit at $2,000 and convert the current coverage gap into a benefit-wide responsibility; and realign the Medicare Part D catastrophic phase cost-sharing responsibilities.
 
The House Energy and Commerce Committee and Education and Labor Committee each approved similar versions of the bill last week.
 
The bills must be reconciled before they go to the House floor for a vote, which will likely be next week.

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