Pharma lobby group opposes senators' proposal to lower drug prices

FILE PHOTO: Pharmaceutical tablets and capsules are arranged in the shape of a U.S. dollar sign on a table, August 20, 2014. REUTERS/Srdjan Zivulovic/File Photo

(Reuters) – Representatives of PhRMA opposed a proposal from the Senate Finance Committee to lower prescription drug prices in a meeting with U.S. President Donald Trump on Wednesday, the pharmaceutical industry lobby group said on Thursday.

The proposal aims to lower drug prices by forcing pharmaceutical companies to pay rebates to Medicare if they raise prices above the rate of inflation.

Medicare is a federal program that provides health coverage to people aged 65 or above, or have a severe disability.

PhRMA said the legislation was not the right approach to keep drug prices down and imposes harmful price controls in Medicare Part D that includes self-administered prescription drugs.

The proposal, unveiled by Senators Chuck Grassley and Ron Wyden on Tuesday, also suggests a cap on out-of-pocket costs for drugs covered under Medicare’s Part D and changes to the program’s Part B that covers physician-administered drugs.

“It replaces the successful, market-based structure of Medicare Part D with Medicaid-style price controls that result in money going to the Federal treasury instead of seniors,” PhRMA said in a statement.

Reporting by Saumya Sibi Joseph in Bengaluru; Editing by Shinjini Ganguli

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