Senators Collins, Casey Introduce Bipartisan Legislation to Make Prescription Drug Pricing More Transparent

Washington, D.C. – U.S. Senators Susan Collins (R-ME) and Bob Casey (D-PA) introduced the Prescription Drug Pricing Dashboard Act, bipartisan legislation that would ensure information about the price of prescription drugs is readily available. Their bill would improve transparency and help lower costs by requiring consistently updated information to be posted on the Drug Spending Dashboards at the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services.

 

“Millions of Americans are struggling with the high cost of prescription drugs, making it more and more difficult for them to access the treatments they require.  This problem particularly affects our seniors, 90 percent of whom take at least one prescription drug,” said Senator Collins. “Our bipartisan legislation would help reduce the cost of medications by shedding light on the opaque pricing information on prescription drugs offered under Medicare and Medicaid.”

 

“Americans are struggling to afford life-sustaining medications. No one should have to skip doses or go into debt because of their prescription drug costs,” said Senator Casey. “The Prescription Drug Pricing Dashboard Act would guarantee that consumers, policymakers, researchers and the public have basic information on what Medicare and Medicaid spend on prescription drugs and on what consumers pay.”

 

The Drug Spending Dashboards are interactive, web-based tools that provide cost and spending information for drugs in the Medicare Part B and D programs as well as Medicaid. The Prescription Drug Pricing Dashboard Act would ensure information about drug costs are posted annually. By knowing how much Medicare and Medicaid spend on prescription drugs, it will be easier to spot trends, identify problems and find solutions.

 

Click HERE to read a summary of the bill.

 

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In 2015, Senator Collins and then-Senator Claire McCaskill (D-MO) launched the Senate’s first bipartisan investigation into the causes, impacts, and potential solutions to egregious price spikes for certain off-patent drugs.  Over the course of 10 hearings, the Committee examined patient hardships in affording prescription drugs, investigated the complex system that leads to high drug prices, and identified ways to bring costs down for older Americans.  The Committee released a report on its investigation in 2016.  Following their investigation, Senators Collins and McCaskill authored a bill to improve generic competition and lower the cost of prescription drugs that was signed into law as part of the FDA Reauthorization Act.  In October 2018, Senator Collins’ legislation to prohibit the use of pharmacy “gag clauses” was signed into law

 

In 2019, Senator Collins introduced the Biologic Patent Transparency Act to help block the harmful patent strategies that prevent lower-cost biosimilars from coming to market.  In July 2019, Senators Collins and Jeanne Shaheen (D-NH), the co-chairs of the Senate Diabetes Caucus, introduced new legislation to combat the skyrocketing cost of insulin. 

 

Additionally, last Congress, Senator Collins joined a group of Senators in introducing the Prescription Drug Pricing Reduction Act of 2020, landmark legislation that would save taxpayers more than $95 billion, reduce out-of-pocket spending by $72 billion, and reduce premiums by $1 billion.  This bill would take a pragmatic approach to prescription drug reform, focusing on creating penalties for drug price increases that outpace inflation and eliminating opportunities for “middlemen” like pharmacy benefit managers to drive up prices for patients and taxpayers.

 

Earlier this year, Senator Collins co-sponsored the Safe and Affordable Drugs from Canada Act, legislation that would allow individuals to safely import prescription drugs from Canada, creating savings for consumers and bringing greater competition into the pharmaceutical market. 

 

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