President Joe Biden speaks about how his Build Back Better agenda will lower prescription drug prices, in the East Room of the White House in Washington, DC, on August 12, 2021. (Photo by MANDEL NGAN/AFP via Getty Images)

( – President Joe Biden touted on Thursday his plan to reduce the cost of prescription drugs through his Build Back Better Agenda.

“There aren’t a lot of things that almost every American can agree on, but I think it’s safe to say that all of us, whatever our background, our age, or where we live can agree that prescription drug prices are outrageously expensive in America. Today I’d like to talk about how we’re going to help millions of Americans save money and ease their burdens by lowering the cost of prescription drugs,” he said.

He acknowledged “the groundbreaking and lifesaving work that many pharmaceutical companies are doing,” particularly “the vaccines they’re manufacturing and delivering”  for COVID-19.

However, the president said, “we can make a distinction between developing these breakthroughs and jacking up prices on a range of medications for a range of everyday diseases and conditions.”

One way to reduce prescription drugs, the president proposed allowing Medicare to negotiate the best prices.

“For every other type of health care service, Medicare works to get the best prices for American seniors. But for prescription drugs – and only prescription drugs – Medicare is prohibited by law from negotiating for the best deal. This needs to change,” the White House said in a fact sheet.

“Medicare should be able to negotiate the price for a subset of expensive drugs that don’t face any competition in the market. Medicare negotiators would be provided a framework for what constitutes a fair price for each drug, and there should be powerful incentives to make sure drug companies agree to a reasonable price,” it said.

The president’s plan also includes penalizing drug companies that raise prescription drug prices faster than inflation. 


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