Senate Parliamentarian OKs Most Of Dems’ Drug Price Controls

WASHINGTON (AP) — The Senate parliamentarian narrowed Democrats‘ plan for curbing drug prices but left it largely unscathed Saturday, Democrats said, as party leaders prepared to start moving their sprawling economic bill through the chamber.

Elizabeth MacDonough, the chamber’s rules arbiter, said provisions must be removed that would force drugmakers to pay rebates if their prices rise above inflation for products they sell to private insurers.

But pharmaceutical companies would have to pay those penalties if their prices for drugs bought by Medicare rise too high.

Other parts of the legislation, such as letting Medicare negotiate costs for the drugs it buys, capping seniors’ out-of-pocket expenses and providing free vaccines, all survived.