Top E&C Democrat: Drug Prices Won’t Hold Up Cures

A top Democrat on the House Energy and Commerce Committee says his party won’t hold up work on a medical innovation bill to get provisions that aim to reduce drug prices, thanks to the election results.

Rep. Gene Green (D-Texas), the ranking member of the Energy and Commerce Health Subcommittee, told Morning Consult on Monday that lawmakers are still working toward reaching an agreement on the 21st Century Cures Act that could pass both chambers this year. But Democrats won’t acquiesce to a group of liberal organizations who had urged them last month to delay the bill until next year so it would address prescription drug pricing.

“With the new president and we didn’t pick up the majority in Congress, plus the intent of Cures was to jumpstart medical research, and that’s something we bipartisanly agree on,” Green said. “I would love to address drug pricing, but that wasn’t part of this bill.”

Green said he’d hoped the House would vote on a new version of the bill this week, but that “it’s not there yet, from what I understand.”

There’s still a chance the bill makes it to the White House before the end of the year, but it gets more challenging with each passing day, he said.

Rep. Tim Murphy (R-Pa.), the chairman of the Energy and Commerce subcommittee on Oversight and Investigations, told reporters the details are still being “fought in the alleys.”

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