Rising care costs According to the CBO, the result of the proposal would be huge savings to taxpayers, and far-reaching effects in the pharmaceutical industry. (Photo: Shutterstock)

(Bloomberg) –A drug-price proposal from Democrats in Congress would save taxpayers $345 billion over a seven-year period, according to a new estimate, punching a hole in pharmaceutical company sales and causing ripple effects in health care systems around the world.

The bill, H.R. 3, is backed by Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi and other Democrats in the chamber. It would direct Medicare, the U.S. government health program for the elderly and disabled, to set pharmaceutical prices based on an index of what other developed nations pay for top-selling drugs. For products not sold abroad, the government would set their price at a discount to what U.S. purchasers paid.

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