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tv   Washington Journal Rachel Cohrs  CSPAN  November 13, 2021 11:05am-11:53am EST

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after he tested positive for covid-19. also live on and the mobile video app, a leading cyber security experts on the white house, homeland security, and the fbi will testify for the house oversight and reform committee for strategies to crackdown on ransomware attack's, disrupt tap -- disrupt hackers and build resilience. on wednesday live on c-span3, the confirmation hearing for jessica rosenworcel is confirmed that she will be the first woman to serve in this capacity and she will take -- the committee will take up other nominations including commissioner of the federal trade commission. at 10:30 e -- a.m. eastern, a virtual meeting of the house subcommittee to discuss the u.s. role in global vaccine equity. watch next week on the c-span networks or watch our full
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coverage on c-span now, our new mobile video app. head over to for scheduling information to stream video live and on-demand any time. c-span, your unfiltered view of governments. >> "washington journal" continues. host: we are back with rachel cohrs, the washington correspondent for s.t.a.t. news talking about the intersection of politics and stat -- and policy to discuss efforts by congress and the biden administration to address rising prescription drug costs. rachel, good morning. let us jump straight into it. lawmakers will begin debate on the president's build back better plan next week including in that bill is an agreement to lower prescription drug prices. before we get into it i want to bring to you what chuck schumer said touting the deal. [video clip] >> for the first time ever,
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medicare will be empowered to directly negotiate prices in part b and d. this will directly reduce out-of-pocket drug spending for millions of patients every time they visit a pharmacy or a doctor. it will cap out-of-pocket spending at $2000 per year, ending the dilemma i just spoke about when a life-changing diagnosis could mean thousands upon thousands of dollars on -- in new expenses that an individual cannot afford. this agreement will lower insulin prices so americans with diabetes do not pay more than $35 a month. let me repeat that because it is amazing how the cost of insulin used to be so reasonable and has skyrocketed with very little reason to -- or justifiable explanation. this agreement will lower insulin prices so americans with
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diabetes do not pay more than $35 per month. it will reform the pharmaceutical industry to stop price gouging and make sure that our country's drug pricing system benefits patients, not corporations. it is not everything all of us wanted, but it is a major step in the right direction as we work to help the american people afford their better prescription drugs. we will keep working to make it even better, but this is a really good start, and a major announcement. [end video clip] host: is chuck schumer right, is this a big deal? guest: if it passes into law it will be a big deal. democrats have been working on the issue of allowing medicare to negotiate drug prices for 15 years, it is something that they have never gotten across the finish line. if this agreement were -- were signed into law it might not be
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everything that leadership help for, but it would be -- hoped-for, but it would be a major step in bringing prescription drugs into the realm of other products and services that medicare pays for. host: for some of our viewers who might not understand the argument could you explain to us why they are not negotiating these prices now? why is now this becoming part of the system? guest: back in the early to thousands when -- early 2000's when congress decided to create a prescription benefit, medicare did not have one. the choice that they made, it was the sausage making process that happened in washington, the pharmaceutical companies were able to insert a ban on medicare negotiating profit -- prices. if they can set their own prices it is more profitable and we can see how that policy has worked
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out over the years. and, there were lawmakers that disagreed with the choice at the time, and they continue to fight to repeal that part of the law that was signed into effect in the early to thousands. -- early 2000. it was part of the industry's power in washington, and i think that they are rethinking given the prescription drug prices that americans are dealing with every day. just kind of weather that is the right policy going forward. host: you said that democrats have been working to push this through. is this a democrat only planned, or is this being supported by democrats and republicans since prescription drugs like we said earlier affect everyone? guest: they do. this plan we have only seen democratic support for it, and it is difficult to tell whether because it is part of the larger
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build back better agenda that republicans just oppose wholesale, they think it is too much spending. it is difficult to figure out where any given republican lawmaker might fall on this policy. the democrats passed a messaging bill in 2019 and they did get to two republican votes which was more aggressive at the time, but the climate is different. at this point, this plan only has democratic support. host: let us look at specific parts of this plan being pushed forward by democrats. i want you to tell us a little bit about what each part of this plan really means further viewers. so, the prescription drug plan, we already talked a little bit about netiquette -- medicare to negotiate price for a high cause prescription drugs. i know it says high cause prescription drugs, does this include all prescription drugs?
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or only a few? guest: it does not include all prescription drugs. it is an interesting process, and it starts with kind of making a list at medicare of the highest cost prescription drugs, the 50 most expensive in the pharmacy drug benefit and the 50 most expensive drugs given at a doctor's office. those 100 are the only ones eligible for negotiation, plus insulin products. the secretary does not negotiate for all of those drugs. the secretary will start off negotiating the prices of 10 drugs, which will go into effect in 2025 and then work up to 15 and then eventually work up to 20 drugs per year they are negotiating from these lists. host: he brought it up there, but i want to focus on it, who does the negotiations. you said the secretary. who is doing the negotiations? guest: the centers for medicare
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and medicaid services will be running this program, they might contract out, we do not know what it will look like at this point, so medicare would be -- the federal government would be running these negotiations in the process is well outlined in the bill of how that back-and-forth would work. host: another part of the plan says that there will be a tax penalty for drug companies to increase prices faster than inflation. tell us about how that will work. guest: that part of the plan is just a disincentive for drugmakers to kind of take these really large price increases that we see sometimes. so, if a drugmaker decides we are going to raise our drug prices 10% and inflation is only 3% then they have to pay the difference back to the federal government. and this policy is unique and interesting because it also
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applies to drugs that are sold in commercial market, employer plans and it goes beyond medicare. if drugmakers are charging those patients more, they will still have to pay a penalty. the idea is that, in theory, it could make drug prices more predictable. host: one more major part of the bill would redesign medicare drug benefits to limit out-of-pocket costs for seniors to $2000 a year. how important would that be? guest: i think that would be extremely important for seniors who do have high drug costs. right now there is not a cap of how much they could pay, they are paying a percentage. for someone who is really sick, who has cancer, those costs can add up. i think patients who are paying really high drug costs right now would see relief when that provision would go into effect in 2024, and i think it offers
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peace of mind for people. if they get really sick, then they have some idea that they can budget for. how much their drugs would cost without the concern that there is a ceiling price and there -- and they could keep paying. host: this seems to be a popular idea, at least, to a lot of people in america. one of our social media followers has a question. "if this is so popular, why cant that be proposed on its own instead of a multi trillion dollar bill? why is this part of this multi trillion dollar bill instead of a stand-alone bill if it is so popular? guest: i think that kind of goes back to our question about how republicans feel about the bill. there was a bipartisan effort last congress to kind of get into some of these policies, but they would not have included
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allowing medicare to negotiate drug prices, it is not popular to republicans. by including it in the larger package, democrats can use budgetary maneuvers that they are using that can allow them to pass legislation without republican votes. i think from the democrat's perspective it is very popular but also very difficult with some of the entrenched industry interest to get that past, and they -- passed and they want to go as aggressive as they can. they see this as a benefit for them. this conversation.take part in we are going to open up regional lines. that means if you are in the eastern or central time zones, we want to hear from you at 202-748-8000. if you are in the mountain or pacific time zones, your number is 202-748-8001. keep in mind that you can always text us at 202-748-8003.
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and, we are always reading on social media on twitter at c-spanwj and facebook at now, why is this such a priority for the white house and congressional leaders right now? and even knowing that is a priority, why did it almost get left out of that multi trillion dollar package in the first place? guest: it is a priority for the white house and congress because , as we talked about, it is something that americans really care about, looking toward the midterm elections this year. it is enormously popular. a lot of democrats campaigned on lowering prescription drug prices to get into office. if this policy was left out, there are a lot of front-line democrats who are really concerned that it would be an unfulfilled promise that they would have to deal with next
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year. and, i think the policy is so complicated, like the way we pay for drugs in this country is very complex and the pharmaceutical industry has a very powerful lobbying presence in washington. and a lot of people have different ideas about how to do this. in principle they agree, but the details really matter. there were some disagreements that progressive and moderate democrats had to work out, and as of two weeks ago it was unclear whether they could bridge the gap on those differences, and, at one point the white house even had said we do not have the votes, we cannot proceed on this policy, but house speaker nancy pelosi and senate majority leader chuck schumer came together and sat at the negotiating table with moderate democrats and were able to push through that and pass it.
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host: let us talk about the impasse between the democrats as a party on this bill. what were the problems between the moderate and liberal democrats on this prescription drug bill? guest: i think the biggest disagreement that we saw centered around the medicare negotiation part of this bill. moderate democrats really wanted to make sure that drugmakers had protection to set their own prices for a certain amount of time after a drug came to market. from their view that protects drugmakers' ability to profit from their innovations. if they create something that helps a lot a people, they can make money off of it for a certain amount of time before a negotiation could even start. i think that is something that they really wanted whereas progressive democrats had imagined a more expansive
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negotiation policy that applied to more drugs, applied more quickly, and so i think the negotiation part, at least the -- which drugs would be eligible, definitely looks more like a moderate idea, and there was is also -- there was also this idea of should be tied prices to the u.s. to what drugmakers charge in foreign countries, which is often much less, but ultimately that policy did not have the support of the full party, so that policy had been left out as well. host: i will tell you that we have some viewers who are very skeptical of the big pharmaceutical company and one of our social media follows has a question about that. they want to know "what did big pharma get? the negotiation suggest that each party gives and gets up something. is big pharma and favor of this, i assume the answer is going to
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be no. if they are not in favor of it, what did they give up and what are they getting to get this pushed through the democrats. guest: the pharmaceutical industry does not support this policy, that is true for big drugmakers and generic drugmakers across the board, they are really upset about this policy publicly. there is no doubt that they strongly oppose it. that does not mean that they are perspective did not get concessions. so, the plan that speaker pelosi had pushed two years ago was very aggressive, it would've taken hundreds of billions of dollars out of the industry. it would have gone into effect as soon as a drug came onto the market and had pricing data available. and drugmakers gained a lot of protection in this bill for small molecule drugs, they would have nine years after a drug was approved before a negotiation could go into effect.
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for more complicated biologic drugs, that would be 13 years. they have a lot of time to set their own prices, and the negotiation prices -- process has some guardrails and boundaries. and those boundaries are set using that prices that drugmakers charge in the united states which gives them a little bit more control than in some of the other proposals and frameworks discussed. this looks better for them and some of the policies that were discussed, but i think there is a genuine concern from the industry that this is breaking the firewall, and if this infrastructure gets set up for negotiating drugs that congress and the future could expand it and change the terms of it. i think there is just general anxiety about that. host: we have talked about where republicans are on this bill. i want to play a sound from
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republican congressman mike burgess on the house floor talking about this issue. i will come back to you after and talk about where republicans are. here's congressman mike burgess. [video clip] >> contemplates inexpensive drug pricing provision. it claims to protect research and development but the secretary still has the ability to set the price at any new drug at any level the secretary wishes, even zero. there is no judicial review of decisions, additionally disagreeing with the prices set by the secretary will result in a 95% excise tax and under this bill, the government will be the deciding factor determining which drugs and which cures can come to market and be available to the american people. [end video clip] host: is that the perspective from the republican side of this argument?
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guest: if they don't, they expect the threat of the idea to encourage participation in the process. i think certainly some lawmakers are concerned about that appearing to candidates, and i think that it also makes an interesting point about access to medicines. and i think that has been a concern for a long time and something i want to highlight from the plan so far, that leaves the drugs on the market to be negotiated. medicare plans will have to cover the drugs on their own formulary. i think there is a larger conversation going on about if
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drugmakers profits are hit too much, will americans get new drugs more slowly. what choices will be made as they are investing in new drugs. so i think there is some concern about that space, but overall, i think a lot of analysts on wall street say that pharma can adjust their business practices to make sure that this is not a devastating hit to their bottom line. host: let us let some of our viewers take part in this conversation. we will start with gilbert from birmingham, alabama. good morning. caller: good morning morning to c-span. today, this topic is hitting home. i have a drug that cost me $2600 in the united states. i can buy the same brand -- the same drug in canada for $115. the guest did a disservice to
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the republican party and i am an independent. just 10 days ago the republican representative diana harshbarger of tennessee brought to congress a bill to regulate the program and if it managers who negotiate the prices between the drug people who make the drugs, and the pharmacy. i would like for you to elaborate on the negotiations from ms. harshbarger to put in regulations to the program benefit managers who negotiate the prices of the drug and they are the middleman that is jacking up all of the prices. it was unfair of you to say that the republicans are not on board. all that stuff that chuck schumer is talking about is nothing on the program benefit managers. guest: sure. i think the pharmacy benefit manager aspect of this is an important part of this very complex process.
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it is something that, although the deal appears to be pretty set, this is something that some lawmakers are still interested in changing. and, making sure that patients are protected from the negotiations that go on between the middlemen and drugmakers. and protecting patients in the middle of that. it is certainly still a topic of conversation among lawmakers as they are moving forward. and i think democrats did agree to put a provision in the bill that requires more transparency from these pharmacy benefit managers, at least to big employer clients, to offer some insight into what patients are actually paying, but the insurers are paying and what is being charged. i think there is a transparency effort at least in this bill, but there is no meaningful regulation on this -- these
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middlemen which has been a concern for some lawmakers. host: mike from wisconsin. mike, good morning. caller: good morning. here is my question. i was watching in the first part of the program whether the medicare prices are going up $20 a month. and a large portion of that is due to the fact that -- my question to you is, ok, why shouldn't medicare be allowed to negotiate drugs all of the time? a $2000 cap is phenomenal for anybody and all of us on medicare, and why are so many republicans against it? i do not understand. guest: you have raised some good questions. i think the first point about the new alzheimer's drug that you are talking about, that is a
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really good example of a drug that is really expensive, has a big potential market, and medicare will not be able to negotiate for that drug price for it looks like maybe 13 years at this point. so, i think that is a great example of a controversy on how well it works, and under this plan the democrats are advancing, that has been an ongoing area of concern, that if more drugs come out like this that medicare would not have a whole lot of power to do much about it. a final decision has not been made on that drug, but we will have to wait and see what the actual program impact will be. like you mentioned, the premium increase announced yesterday is a big deal and a lot of people will feel that policy. i think in terms of the republican opposition to the plan, they are opposed to more
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government involvement in a setting -- in setting drug prices or what the government will pay for them. i think republicans in general favor the free market, and letting that play out instead of having more direct government intervention, which is what this policy would essentially do. host: we are hearing a lot right now about supply chain issues, and -- and a lot of areas around the country including computer chips, and food. are they are supply chain issues in prescription drugs? guest: there are major vulnerabilities that were revealed by the pandemic, because a lot of pharmaceutical manufacturing or raw materials, it comes from around the world. i think there are certainly efforts to improve or incentivize domestic manufacturing of certain prescription drugs, especially really basic drugs that are
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generally pretty cheap, and we need to keep things running well , so there is policy that has been proposed on this issue. this prescription drug pricing plan specifically does not address it to my knowledge. but, i think that is something on lawmaker's minds for sure. host: norman from richmond, virginia. good morning. caller: thank you for accepting my call. i spent eight years after college training to be a physician and when medicare was first proposed i was angry that my skills and knowledge were going to become a national commodity. now that i am older and see what drugs cost, i believe that the government needs to have a conscience, even if the drug companies do not. the classic example is insulin,
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which has been around for one for 100 years and was very cheap at one time. some drug company was able to patent it and now it takes a lot of money to take it. people are entitled to have reasonable costs for drugs. thank you. guest: i think it offers a great opportunity to talk about the insulin protection in this bill, which would be a big change for some people. so patients who have medicare as there is mature or -- as there ensure or an insurance plan, they are not supposed to play -- pay $35 out-of-pocket for insulin even though prices are so much higher. for people uninsured this will not necessarily apply to them, so that is another spot that lawmakers would like to address down the line.
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these insulin price protections are a big deal. a lot of people would deal with them. and the government is also allowed to negotiate for the price of insulin outside of the top 50 list that we talked about earlier. thank you so much for bringing that up. host: lind up from ogden, utah. good morning. caller: good morning, my question is does this bill have anything to do with the doctors getting kickbacks from big pharma to guard the drugs? guest: i think has been -- that has been more and effort on the regulatory side of the biden administration and the trump administration addressing those policies. this bill does not affect that specifically. host: you and your company has put out both drug pricing plan winners and losers.
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let me talk -- talk to me a little bit about why you have certain people on one list and certain people on the other. first, let us look at this pricing plan winners. use a speaker nancy pelosi is a winner in this plan, why? guest: this has been something that is a top priority for nancy pelosi, and who knows how long she will be in congress. that is seen as a legacy issue and something that she has been a driving force on for 15 years, but also, more specifically, the past three years or so. she had a key role in the negotiations and in making sure that it was as expansive as it could be. at one point she told the white house who had decided that they were willing to accept more moderate members had imagined for the negotiation process and she said that is not good enough. we will keep talking and try to
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get something better. and the result was a happy medium between what her plan had been and what moderates had wanted. so, it is a deal, and deals, even in the democratic party, can be difficult to reach sometimes. host: you also said moderate democrats are winners, why? guest: the moderate democrats that we are talking about specifically are senator kyrsten sinema, congressman scott peters, kurt schrader, there are other lawmakers as well who were really concerned about the policies that house speaker nancy was advancing. she is a very powerful woman, and this policy had been kind of the link it accepted policy from -- blanket accepted policy. these moderates by sticking together because congress was
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narrowly divided, they were able to extract major changes to try and fit it to their vision of how they should work and address some of the concerns. so, i think it is a win for both of them that they were able to get something done and both were able to shape how the final deal looked. host: we know why seniors with a high drug costs would be a winner i am surprised to see employers as winners, why would employers be winners under this plan? guest: we actually talked a little bit earlier about the penalty for drugmakers that raise drug prices faster than inflation. that policy in plot -- applies to employers. one thing employers were worried about was if drugmakers get less money from medicare, are they going to raise prices on us to try and make up the money somehow? i think these protections, they
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lobbied hard for these two apply to the employer market as well and the fact that that made it in the final deal is a big win for them. host: let us look at the losers that you all have identified under this pricing plan. first on the list are drugmakers. are drugmakers really going to be losers under this plan? guest: they are really mad about it. this is something they did not want to happen especially the medicare negotiation portion. i think it breaks down a firewall for the future, that they are really concerned about. it is clear to say that it is not entirely clear cut, no one loses or wins everything. it will change the landscape for how drugmakers plan and make their business plans for these drugs, and i think that is something that they had wanted to keep how they have been doing things in the past. the fact that if a medicare
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negotiation policy passes and inside -- and is signed into law there is a long road forward. that would be a loss for the drug industry which has not seen a lot of losses in recent years. host: progressive done if i -- democrats are identified on this list and is this because i did not get everything that they wanted? guest: they had pushed nancy pelosi to make her plan as strong and expansive and aggressive as they could and they drove a hard bargain with her in terms of passing the house. and at this point, speaker pelosi obviously had their interest in minds, but the moderate democrats were the ones at the negotiating table getting the deal done. and the progressive pocket was not involved and they just trusted leadership to get the best deals that they could but in such a narrowly divided congress progressives did not spend their political capital on fighting back in these negotiations. host: finally, pharmacy benefit
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managers, how are they losers? guest: as we talked about they did not get regulation that i think some people thought that they should. they had not been talked about much at all. and at the and of the process we saw transparency measures introduced that they will not be happy about. and there is a potential for further tweaks around the net price negotiated price and what people are paying. i think that they had got no way untouched until the last minute of the negotiations and these transparency measures, they are not as far as some people would go. it is definitely a step forward that -- about addressing a policy that is really opaque. host: let us get back to our viewers and start with paul,
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calling from florida. good morning. host: good morning. -- caller: good morning. ms. cohrs. i wanted to ask you, you said something about the fixed negotiation of prices for drugs being phased in over nine years and then four more years, would you please more slowly explain what exactly those time limits are? guest: that is a really good question. so, there are two sorts of drugs that the fda approved. the first one we call small molecule drugs, it means that the drugs are simple to make. and, there are more complex drugs called biologics, like the alzheimer's drugs. a lot of these are given at doctors offices, sometimes. there are two kinds of drugs and
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the fda does have a difference in how long drugmakers has protections for either one of those, just because it is harder to make biologics in general. so, in terms of medicare negotiation, it would, from the moment that small molecule, one of the simpler drugs is approved, drugmakers would have nine years that they could cause -- charge what they wanted before medicare would be able to negotiate those drug prices, and for these more complex drugs, it would be 13 years of protection. right now, as the bill stands. there is, as we are talking about, the alzheimer's drugs earlier, there is a period of time where you will not feel the effects of the policy until the discounts go into effect. later on. host: let us talk to nelson from
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pembroke pines, florida. nelson, good morning. caller: good morning, thank you for taking my call. you have already addressed some of my questions. i am on medicare advantage, and i am also a veteran, and also use the v.a.. the v.a. has been negotiating for years, but one of the things i have noticed and i am not complaining about their service, it is pretty good. it is that not all medications are available through the v.a., which also means that once medicare begins to negotiate for these prices that there will be medications not available for medicare as well. i am also a little concerned about the fact that the money has to come from somewhere for these companies because, whether we like it or not, they have to make a profit in order to continue to conduct research,
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and if you do not pay for one end of the population, than the other end of the population will have to pay. i was wondering if perhaps you could address that a little bit more, and thank you kindly for taking my call. guest: thank you so much for your service. i think the first aspect that you brought up about the v.a. is a good point to touch on. the v.a. negotiates drugs and they have a little bit more leverage because they have what is called a formula where they choose to cover some drugs and not cover others. medicare does not work that way. so, i think that is an important distinction to make, that the v.a. has its own negotiation process, and this process designed under medicare will be different. so, any negotiated drug will have to be covered in some way by these medicare pharmacy plans. i think that was a good question
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and it does work a little bit differently and medicare. and, i think that on your second point, i think that certainly, drugmakers might see bottom-line impacts from this policy, and i think they have been saying that it will hurt our research budgets. the thing is there is a lot of other kind of line items in budgets whether it is advertising, stock buybacks. there are other areas that drugmakers could choose to cut back if they really see bottom-line impacts from this policy that are not investing in research or element or really truly innovative treatments. i think it is their argument to make what we do not have a lot of clarity on how that will work out, and i think it is also important to remember that the profit margin for selling and manufacturing prescription drugs
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is very high compared to a lot of other industries. host: one of the conversations we hear a lot when we talk about prescription drugs is the different between brand-name and generic. one of our followers says i have allergies and cannot tolerate the generic version of the drug i take. how will this affect being able to obtain rands name drugs? guest: so, i think that is a good question. with the negotiation policy we are talking about in medicare, that policy only applies to what is called single force drugs which means it does not have generics. that brand-name drug that you might be taking one early be eligible for the negotiation process, but at least that drug would apply under these inflation penalties that
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drugmakers have, so if they raise the price on the drug significantly they would have to pay a penalty to the government. in theory, that brand drug might have price increases in a predictable way if these policies go into effect. host: let us go back to our phone lines and talk to lupe from california. good morning. caller: good morning. thank you for taking my call. what i cannot understand and i am very curious because i heard something said and i remember someone he talked about bernie sanders going to canada and quite a few people went with him to pick up prescriptions, i belong to kaiser, and i opened up my prescriptions and i notice the tag was placed around the container, so i ripped it off and it said for kaiser only from canada.
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and, they have a five start the hospital because they do not pass that down. i play -- i pay zero dollars for my prescriptions and they are not generic. they are the good stuff. i do not understand, why would bernie have to take someone over there when kaiser can order it from canada and we have it here? host: go ahead. guest: i am not entirely sure. i cannot speak to your specific ensure and how they get drugs. drug importation from canada is a policy still on the table with the biden administration. they have expressed interest but have not taken concrete steps that would meet -- that would need to be done to make it a reality. that is a good question. we do not have a specific answer but certainly importing drugs from canada is something that the biden administration has expressed interest in as well. host: paul from pennsylvania.
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good morning. caller: yes, the guest seems very knowledgeable and i have couple observations that i would like her to comment on. first, the amount of prescription drugs that americans use compared to other countries, and when the pandemic first hit there were a lot of new stories about supply chain issues because of how many prescription drugs come from china. thank you, and i would like you to comment on that. guest: of course. i do not know that i have a great sense for you of how drug usage varies in the united states, i know that there are drugs available in the u.s. standard and are available in some foreign countries, and i know drugmakers like to tout that the american system is working in that respect. i think we had a chat about the
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supply chain earlier, but there is a big concern with mastic manufacturing and raw materials in foreign countries for -- some of these prescription drug products. it is very much an issue on congress' mind. they are interested in pursuing policy on that issue. that is not in this deal specifically, but this is an ongoing conversation. host: let us see if we can get a quick question from carmine from new york. we are going to run out of time real quick, so can you give us a quick question? caller: i will try. good morning. i recently read an article in the new york times how a life-saving drug can take years, hundreds of millions of dollars in r&d before it is developed, protected, and brought to the market. according to the article, i understand that they have to put the course on the price of the
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drug, there is no problem with that. according to the article, it is only added to the price of the drug in america, and they mention europe in particular where europe refuses to pay the added course or does not pay the added cost how is that fair? guest: a lot of lawmakers will say that is not fair and that is part of the motivation behind the reforms that governments in european countries and elsewhere in the world use their leverage to bargain for drug prices and we do not have that same infrastructure, so i think that is certainly a concern for lawmakers pushing the policy forward. host: we would like to thank rachel cohrs the washington correspondent for stat news and talking us through the prescription drug pricing bill working its way through congress, thank you for being here.
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still ahead this morning christa case bryant with the christian science monitor joins us on the spotlight on magazine segment to talk about an article on how republicans and democrats on capitol hill are looking to become the party of parents. first, we will go to our open forum, where you can call in and talk about the most important political topic on your mind. you see the numbers, start dialing, we will take a quick break and we will be right back. ♪ >> exploring the people and events and tell the american story on "american history tv." revisiting george washington's farewell address and threats addressing the young nation. the 100 anniversary of arlington's cemetery tomb of the
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unknown shoulder. the story behind the tomb, including the overseas journey that took this anonymous soldier from the fields of world war i france to america's most revered burial ground. watch every weekend and find the full schedule on your program guide or watch online anytime at >> offers a variety of outcasts. every week, book notes plus has in-depth interviews with writers about their latest works. weekly uses audio from our archive to look at how issues developed over the years. our series "talking risk" talks about historians' lives and works.


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