As the first-ever Medicare drug-price negotiations take shape, Big Pharma-backed Democrats want to limit the number of costly medicines regulators can target.

by Helen Santoro, The Lever

U.S. Rep. Josh Gottheimer of New Jersey addresses Soldiers, family, friends, elected officials, and the New Jersey National Guard

Democratic Reps. Scott Peters (Calif.), Wiley Nickel (N.C.), Josh Gottheimer (N.J.) and Donald Davis (N.C.) are each co-sponsoring at least one of several proposed bills that would limit regulators’ ability to negotiate down prices of drugs covered by the Medicare government insurance program. The legislation would erode the drug-pricing reforms included in the Democrats’ 2022 Inflation Reduction Act — efforts that PetersNickel, and Gottheimer supported. (Davis had not yet been elected to Congress.)

The four, who all hail from states with a major biotech or drug-industry presence, have together raked in more than $300,000 from pharmaceutical and health-products interests during the 2023-2024 congressional session. Gottheimer is reportedly eyeing a 2025 gubernatorial run in New Jersey, home to the pharmaceutical giant Merck & Co.

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