'Price Gouging’ Would Be Monitored By COVID-19 Medical Supplies Coordinator Under US House Bill
Legislation also provides the US Biomedical Advanced Research and Development Authority with $3.5bn to advance research and development, manufacturing, production and the purchase of vaccines and therapeutics.
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One of many unresolved issues for the next round of COVID-19 response legislation in the US is whether and how to assure that an eventual vaccine is affordable for all Americans. The House wants to make it free to everyone – which is a lot harder than it sounds.
After failing to get many co-pay waivers in earlier coronavirus relief legislation, the House tries again – with an even bolder ask covering more Americans. The bill would also speed up CDC’s guidance on vaccines and ensure Medicare Part D plans cover all coronavirus treatments. But its not clear whether the Senate will get on board.
The US government has a routine approach for negotiating single-seller/single-buyer contracts, but drug pricing politics and public fears of coronavirus will likely complicate any purchasing talks with a sponsor, should an effective vaccine or therapeutic emerge.