Kaine co-sponsors bill ending ban on drug price negotiations

Sen. Timothy M. Kaine, D-Va.,  today signed onto the Medicare Prescription Drug Price Negotiation Act, a measure that would end the ban on prescription drug price negotiations for the government’s largest health care program. The bill was sponsored by Democratic Sen. Amy Klobuchar of Minnesota. Closing this loophole in the Medicare program that served 50 million seniors across the country in 2012 – including more than 1.2 million in Virginia – was a platform that Kaine ran on during his 2012 campaign.

“Every corner pharmacy negotiates for prescription drug prices so it makes no sense that the federal government isn’t allowed to do the same,” Kaine said. “At a time when we continue to look at every line item of the budget for savings, this common sense measure should be adopted to make Medicare more efficient and low-cost without compromising care for Virginia seniors.”

The Medicare Prescription Drug Price Negotiation Act would allow Medicare to use the same price negotiation process that takes place in the Veterans Administration, which would lower the cost of prescription drugs for seniors.  Under this legislation, the Secretary of Health and Human Services would directly negotiate with drug companies to get the best possible prices for drugs purchased under the Medicare Part D prescription drug plan.