House Passes Blue Dog-Backed, Bipartisan Prescription Drug Legislation
WASHINGTON—Today, the House passed two prescription drug pricing bills with bipartisan support, which were endorsed by the Blue Dog Coalition earlier this month. The legislation was endorsed as part of the Coalition’s effort to call on Congress to take up a series of additional, bipartisan prescription drug pricing bills that, if taken up individually, could pass a Democratic-led House and a Republican-led Senate.
The House passed the following Blue Dog-backed, bipartisan bills, which now await action in the Senate:
- H.R. 2115, the Public Disclosure of Drug Discounts Act: This legislation would require Pharmacy Benefit Managers (PBMs) to report their aggregate rebates, discounts, and other price concessions for prescription drugs to a public website. This market transparency would help patients, doctors, employers, and other buyers better understand and compare the discounts PBMs receive so that there can be a full understanding of the impact and cost of PBMs’ involvement in prescription drug prices.
- H.R. 1781, the Payment Commission Data Act of 2019: This legislation would provide the Medicare Payment Advisory Commission (MedPAC) and the Medicaid and CHIP Payment and Access Commission (MACPAC) with access to drug pricing and rebate data for these independent, non-partisan commissions to help Congress better understand the true costs of prescription drugs to consumers and taxpayers.
“I have held 26 town hall meetings across our district this year, and at each and every one I hear from hardworking Arizonans struggling to afford the high costs of necessary prescription drugs. No family should have to choose between life-saving medications and putting food on the table,” said Rep. Tom O’Halleran (AZ-01), Blue Dog Co-Chair for Policy, and original co-sponsor of the Payment Commission Data Act. “If we hope to lower prescription drug prices, we must ensure that those tasked with providing drug pricing guidance to Congress have the most accurate information so they are able to recommend policies that assist real patients. Today, the House of Representatives took a solid step forward in lowering the cost of prescription drugs by passing our bipartisan legislation.”
“Across Central Virginia, I have heard heartbreaking stories about the harmful financial effects of rising prescription drug costs. As prices surge, our neighbors struggle not only to purchase the medications they need, but also to understand why costs continue to rise. One of the first steps toward fixing this issue is to strengthen accountability within our murky discount and rebate system—a concern expressed to me by patients and pharmacists at our Henrico prescription drug roundtable in August,” said Rep. Abigail Spanberger (VA-07), Blue Dog Coalition member and sponsor of the Blue Dog-endorsed Public Disclosure of Drug Discounts Act. “Today marks important progress as we work to bring greater transparency to the black box of prescription drug negotiations. By shedding light on the practices of PBMs, our bipartisan legislation would allow patients, physicians, and pharmacists to better understand the economic impacts of decisions made by PBMs. At a time when PBMs are raking in record profits, we need to make sure we have public information on-hand that can help us hold them accountable for potentially passing on price increases to America’s families and seniors. I’d like to thank my colleagues in the House for moving our bill forward—and I’ll keep working to advance bipartisan legislation that can lower costs, increase access to lifesaving medications, and stimulate competition in the pharmaceutical industry.”