Washington, D.C. —In the midst of the COVID-19 pandemic that is taking a severe toll on our health care system, U.S. Senator Susan Collins joined a group of Senators in introducing updated legislation to help Americans struggling with the high cost of prescription drugs.
The Prescription Drug Pricing Reduction Act of 2020 was also introduced by Senators Chuck Grassley (R-IA), Bill Cassidy (R-LA), Steve Daines (R-MT), Joni Ernst (R-IA), Martha McSally (R-AZ), Mike Braun (R-IN), Cindy Hyde-Smith (R-MS), Lisa Murkowski (R-AK) and Kevin Cramer (R-ND). Senator Collins is the Chairman of the Senate Aging Committee and a member of the Senate Health Committee.
“Skyrocketing drug prices are making it more and more difficult for Americans to access the treatments they require. As Chairman of the Senate Aging Committee, combatting the rising costs of these medications is one of my top priorities,” said Senator Collins. “This bipartisan legislation addresses some of the most pressing problems in our health care system. It is a tremendous opportunity for Congress to deliver a decisive victory in lowering health care costs for the people of Maine and the entire nation.”
According to the independent Congressional Budget Office (CBO), the Prescription Drug Pricing Reduction Act would save taxpayers $95 billion, reduce out-of-pocket spending by $72 billion, and reduce premiums by $1 billion. A full analysis by the CBO can be found HERE.
This bill takes a pragmatic approach to health care reform, focusing on creating penalties for drug price increases that outpace inflation and eliminating opportunities for health care “middlemen” like pharmacy benefit managers to drive up prices for patients and taxpayers.
The bill has previously been endorsed by organizations spanning the political spectrum, from the senior group AARP to the libertarian Cato Institute. Other endorsements include America’s Health Insurance Plans, the Association for Accessible Medicine, and the Campaign for Sustainable Rx Pricing and Patients for Affordable Drugs Now.
Earlier this year, Senator Collins, along with Senators Grassley, Cassidy, and Daines, spoke from the Senate floor to urge their colleagues to support the bipartisan work underway in the Senate to lower the cost of prescription drugs.
Text of the bipartisan legislation can be found HERE.
A section-by-section description of the legislation can be found HERE.