Senators unveil drug pricing legislation

Sens. Chuck Grassley, R-Iowa, and Ron Wyden, D-Ore., introduced drug pricing legislation July 22 that is estimated to lower out-of-pocket costs by $27 billion.

The bill, called "The Prescription Drug Pricing Reduction Act of 2019," addresses drug costs in Medicare Parts B and D, as well as Medicaid. The provisions affecting Medicare Part D include setting a cap on out-of-pocket spending and incentivizing more price negotiations between plans and drug manufacturers. To Part B, the bill would update calculation formulas for prescription drug payments to benefit patients, and in Medicaid, it would increase price transparency and extend benefits to cover gene therapies for rare diseases, among other provisions.   

The Congressional Budget Office estimates the bill could save taxpayers approximately $100 billion, reduce out-of-pocket costs by $27 billion and deliver $5 billion in savings on premiums.

The Senate Finance Committee plans to mark up the bill July 25. House Democrats are also working on a bill to lower drug prices, which they plan to introduce after the Congressional recess.

 

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