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House Approves Carter Legislation to Address Prescription Drug Costs

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Washington, October 28, 2019 | comments
The U.S. House of Representatives today approved Congressman Earl L. "Buddy" Carter's (R-Ga.) legislation to help lower prescription drug costs and increase transparency in the drug supply chain. 

Currently, Congress’ independent advisory commissions, the Medicare Payment Advisory Commission (MedPAC) and the Medicaid and CHIP Payment and Access Commission (MACPAC), do not have access to certain drug pricing data. MedPAC and MACPAC need data such as information about drug rebates in order to make recommendations to Congress on how to improve the Medicare and Medicaid programs and lower prescription drug prices.

Carter's legislation passed by the House tonight, the Payment Commission Data Act, gives MedPAC and MACPAC access to drug pricing data so the industry experts on the commissions have access to the information needed to do their important work. This will increase transparency and help provide recommendations to Congress that will ultimately create policy reforms to help patients.

“It makes no sense that the experts tasked with presenting Congress with recommendations on how to better address the important task of lowering prescription drug prices do not have access to the data they need,” said Carter. “This legislation will give them access to what is needed to be sure they can provide the best possible recommendations. It will also bring more clarity to the drug pricing system and increase transparency. I have always said the key to addressing the rising costs of prescription drugs is increased transparency. Sunlight is the best disinfectant."

The House also approved the Public Disclosure of Drug Discounts Act, which includes language championed by Carter to require Pharmacy Benefit Managers (PBM) to report data to the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services on negotiated rebates, negotiated discounts, Direct and Indirect Remuneration fees, administrative fees, price concessions and more. 

"This legislation is also critical to bring more transparency to the drug pricing system," said Carter. "Even though the PBMs provide no real benefit in the drug pricing system, they are definitely taking a profit in the middle of the chain. This bill will help to shed light on the practices of the PBMs to help ensure the drug supply chain is working for patients and not the other way around."
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