Washington, D.C. – Today, the Congressional Progressive Caucus (CPC) announced its endorsement of H.R. 1046, the Medicare Negotiation and Competitive Licensing Act of 2019, introduced by Congressman Lloyd Doggett (TX-35).

“In the richest nation on Earth, it’s a disgrace that so many can’t afford the medicines that keep them alive and healthy. Pharmaceutical price-gouging is out of control – and this Democratic majority was sent to Congress to fix it. It’s time we kept that promise to the American people,” said CPC Co-Chairs Congressman Mark Pocan (WI-02) and Congresswoman Pramila Jayapal (WA-07). “Congressman Doggett’s bill lays out a bold plan to bring down the costs of prescription drugs and prevent future abuses by Big Pharma.”

“The Progressive Caucus has been clear from the outset: we want a bill that secures the best possible deal on all drugs for Americans, as opposed to a small subset. We also need a powerful backstop to combat the greed of Big Pharma in negotiations,” added the co-chairs. “By empowering the Secretary of Health and Human Services to negotiate directly with pharmaceutical companies, and authorizing generic competition if negotiations are unsuccessful, we can lower costs for consumers and ensure that the needs of the American people – not corporate profits – come first. We urge Democratic leadership to give this important legislation equal consideration alongside all other prescription drug pricing proposals. Any bill that comes to the House floor must include a strong backstop and negotiation for all drugs to gain the full support of the CPC.”

The Medicare Negotiation and Competitive Licensing Act would authorize the Secretary of Health and Human Services (HHS) to negotiate drug prices and, if drug companies refuse to negotiate in good faith, it would enable the Secretary to issue a competitive license to another company to produce the medication as a generic.

“Time to cut prices so that patients can stop cutting their pills in half. And time for Democrats to deliver on our promise of Medicare negotiation to address soaring medication costs. Our proposal responds to rampant prescription price gouging in America with an American solution: negotiation and competition,” said Congressman Lloyd Doggett (TX-35). “This legislation, sponsored by most Democratic House Members, will repeal and replace the Republican-imposed prohibition of negotiation and authorize expanded use of generic competition to lower prices. Now, President Trump can follow the advice of Candidate Trump by supporting this effective negotiation legislation.”

Tomorrow, the Congressional Progressive Caucus will meet with Ways and Means Chairman Richard Neal and Energy and Commerce Chairman Frank Pallone to discuss next steps on Medicare drug pricing legislation.