Senate Finance chair releases principles for lowering prescription drug prices

Senate Finance Committee Chairman Ron Wyden (D-Ore.) on Tuesday released principles for his proposal to lower prescription drug prices, saying current costs are “unacceptable.”

Wyden has been working behind the scenes to craft a bill to lower drug prices that can get all 50 Senate Democrats on board so that a measure can pass the chamber, as Republican support is not expected.

While some of the contours were already known, the principles released on Tuesday provide the first written indication of what Senate Democrats want. Still, there are many details that are not included in the document, highlighting the work ahead to craft the specifics.

The principles: 

  • Give Medicare the ability to negotiate drug prices
  • Allow the lower prices to apply to private insurance as well
  • Cap out of pocket costs for consumers
  • Limit drug price increases to the rate of inflation