According to unnamed sources cited by Politico, Arizona Senator Kyrsten Sinema is opposed to the current prescription drug pricing proposals in bills introduced in the House and Senate. An alternative proposed by House centrists would limit the drugs subject to Medicare negotiation. Even though her position could compromise her bipartisan infrastructure plan, Sinema stance has slowed the passage of the $3.5 trillion spending measure designed by the Biden administration and fellow Democrats.
Washington Democratic Rep. Pramila Jayapal earlier stated that the majority of the Congressional Progressive Caucus, which she chairs, would not vote for Sinema infrastructure plan unless the spending bill was passed first. According to a document for Democratic senators, if passed, the $3.5 trillion budget package will cut the cost of certain prescription pharmaceuticals by adopting changes and allowing Medicare to negotiate rates, saving the federal government “hundreds of billions” in healthcare spending.
Insider contacted and her team, but no response was received. Amgen’s prescription medications come with exorbitant price tags. In 2020, the company’s global product sales totaled $24.24 billion. Amgen declined to comment on whether it lobbied Sinema on prescription medication pricing reforms or how the bill’s passage would affect the company‘s bottom line. However, according to OpenSecrets, Amgen spent $4.72 million lobbying congressional lawmakers in 2021 on 17 proposals, most of which deal with prescription drug pricing issues.