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Baldwin, Colleagues Introduce Legislation to Cut Senior’s Prescription Drug Costs

SMART Act builds on Baldwin-supported Inflation Reduction Act provision that allows Medicare to negotiate some prescription drug prices

WASHINGTON, D.C. – U.S. Senator Tammy Baldwin (D-WI) joined her colleagues in introducing legislation to boost Medicare’s ability to negotiate drug prices and lower prescription drug costs for consumers. The Strengthening Medicare and Reducing Taxpayers (SMART) Prices Act, would give the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) additional authority to negotiate for Medicare Part D.

“No American should go broke just to afford the medications they need to stay healthy. Our Inflation Reduction Act finally empowered Medicare to negotiate for lower drug prices, but that was just the first step to tackling big drug companies’ high costs," said Senator Baldwin. “We need to do more to hold big pharma accountable and provide relief for our seniors who are struggling to afford their medications. The SMART Prices Act builds on the progress we’ve made for our seniors by lowering the cost of more prescription drugs, sooner, and saving taxpayers money.” 

This legislation expands on provisions in the Baldwin-supported Inflation Reduction Act that empowered Medicare to negotiate prescription drug prices for the first time, unleashing the power of Medicare’s 50 million seniors to help lower drug prices for all Americans. The SMART Prices Act builds on this progress, specifically lowering drug prices through negotiation one year earlier than under current law, and increasing the number of drugs that HHS can negotiate starting in 2028.

The SMART Prices Act would allow prescription drugs and biologics to be eligible for negotiation as soon as their Hatch-Waxman monopoly period is over. It would also increase the amount by which Medicare can lower prices through negotiation. 

This legislation is led by Senators Amy Klobuchar (D-MN) and Peter Welch (D-VT) and is also cosponsored by Senators Richard Blumenthal (D-CT), Cory Booker (D-NJ), Sherrod Brown (D-OH), Maria Cantwell (D-WA), Ben Cardin (D-MD), Catherine Cortez Masto (D-NV), Dick Durbin (D-IL), Kirsten Gillibrand (D-NY), Maggie Hassan (D-NH), Martin Heinrich (D-NM), Angus King (I-ME), Jeff Merkley (D-OR), Patty Murray (D-WA), Jack Reed (D-RI), Jeanne Shaheen (D-NH), Tina Smith (D-MN), Debbie Stabenow (D-MI), Elizabeth Warren (D-MA), and Sheldon Whitehouse (D-RI). 

The legislation is endorsed by the Center for American Progress, Families USA, Lower Drug Prices Now, National Multiple Sclerosis Society, Patients For Affordable Drugs, Protect Our Care, and Public Citizen.