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US Government Poised for Long-Awaited Powers on Drug Pricing

  • Drugmakers have long said R&D will suffer if prices regulated
  • Eli Lilly, Astra, AbbVie among the companies likely affected


Source: Getty Images

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Pharma rarely loses in Washington. For years, the industry has successfully defeated US government efforts to rein in drug pricing, arguing any such moves would prevent companies from developing newer and better medicines. That argument doesn’t seem to be enough anymore. 

The Senate is poised to pass sweeping legislation as soon as this weekend that would give the US government power it has never had before: the ability to negotiate the prices seniors pay for some drugs, like cancer treatments. Drug companies have repeatedly fought such change, saying it will sap money they need to invest in new discoveries. But Democrats have pushed forward anyway, hoping to make good on their promise to ease costs for patients.