Healthcare & Life Sciences: Drug Pricing Digest - November 2021

Drug Pricing Initiatives: Late on Nov. 5, 2021, the House of Representatives passed H.R. 3684 (the Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act). This $1 trillion infrastructure bill, which was passed earlier by the Senate, is part of the reconciliation package that contains many of President Biden’s domestic policy initiatives.

The other bill in the reconciliation package, H.R. 5376 (the Build Back Better Act, or BBBA), is the $1.85 trillion social safety net, climate, and tax bill that includes measures related to drug pricing and healthcare. It has not yet been passed by either chamber. Centrist Democrats had delayed a vote on the BBBA while negotiating changes to various provisions, but have now reportedly agreed to a compromise bill. The BBBA nevertheless did not come to a vote on Nov. 5 because centrist Democrats reportedly want to wait for final scoring by the Congressional Budget Office (CBO). A vote is expected the week of Nov. 15. If the BBBA is passed in the House, Senate Democrats will likely seek to further revise the legislation, which is strongly opposed by Republicans. The budget reconciliation process allows passage in both chambers of Congress by a simple majority, which would require all 50 Democratic and Independent Senators’ votes, with Vice President Harris casting the tie-breaking vote.

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DISCLAIMER: Because of the generality of this update, the information provided herein may not be applicable in all situations and should not be acted upon without specific legal advice based on particular situations.

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