House of Representatives Pass Build Back Better Bill, Vote Goes to Senate

The Build Back Better bill include an authorization for the government to negotiate lower drug prices.

The House of Representatives (the House) passed the Build Back Better reconciliation bill, which includes authorization for the government to negotiate lower drug prices. The legislation was approved on a 220 to 213 vote in the House and now faces the Senate, according to the US House of Representatives Press Gallery.

A recent poll from the Kaiser Family Foundation found that 83% of American believe that the government should be allowed to negotiate lower drug prices.

“Negotiation exists. It’s just going on in the private sector and the [Medicare Part D] plans are doing it on behalf of the government,” said Lindsay Bealor Greenleaf, MBA, JD, vice president of ADVI Health, in a Pharmacy Times® interview. “When people say the government should negotiate . . . what they’re really saying is the government should just play a much bigger role, which would be this consolidation of power and move us closer to a single payer system.”

She said drugs in the part B program in Medicare—which are drugs such as cancer infusion therapies that are administered by physicians—are currently paid for based on average sale price. This average price is set based on the commercial market, with discounts and rebates negotiated by commercial payers.

The Build Back Better bill would also include efforts to fight climate change, extend the Child Tax Credit, and make higher education more affordable.


Statement by President Joe Biden on Passage of the Build Back Better Act in the U.S. House of Representatives. The White House. News release. November 19, 2021. Accessed November 19, 2021.