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Ways and Means Advances Bipartisan Prescription Drug Pricing Legislation

April 09, 2019

WASHINGTON, D.C.—Today, the House Committee on Ways and Means unanimously passed the bipartisan Prescription Drug STAR Act. H.R. 2113 addresses key issues related to transparency and public reporting of information in order to improve accountability and ensure consumers, purchasers, payers, and taxpayers have a better understanding of this opaque market.

“Today, our Committee put aside our ideological differences and passed the bipartisan Prescription Drug STAR Act, a first step in addressing the high cost of prescription drugs affecting consumers in Massachusetts, Texas, and across the country by improving transparency for patients,” said the top Republican on the Committee Kevin Brady (R-TX) and Committee Chairman Richard Neal (D-MA). “This bipartisan effort brings sunlight across the health care supply chain, from pharmaceutical manufacturers to pharmacy benefit managers, to help reduce costs for families.  There is more work to be done on this bill and on this issue, and we look forward to continuing our bipartisan work to address other drug pricing and pressing health care issues the American people face.”

The STAR Act would:

  • Require drug manufacturers to publicly justify large price increases for existing drugs and high initial prices for new drugs.
  • Require applicable manufacturers to report to the Secretary of Health and Human Services the total aggregate monetary value and quantity of samples provided to certain health care providers for patient use.
  • Require the Secretary to conduct a study on hospital inpatient (Medicare Part A) drug costs, including trends by hospital type (e.g. rural vs. urban) and the impact of drug shortages.
  • Require the Secretary to publicly disclose the aggregate rebates, discounts, and other price concessions achieved by pharmaceutical benefits managers (PBMs) on a public website, so consumers, employers, and other payers can understand and compare the discounts PBMs receive.
  • Require all drug manufacturers to submit information to the Secretary on the average sales price (ASP) for physician-administered drugs covered under Medicare Part B.

The STAR Act is supported by numerous national organizations including AARP, American Hospital Association, ERIC, ERISA Industry Committee, National Community Pharmacists Association, and Federation of American Hospitals, among others.

Full text of the Prescription Drug STAR Act can be found HERE.