Gonzalez, Collins Commend Administration’s Proposed Rule to Lower Drug Prices

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Mega Doctor NEWS

WASHINGTON – Congressmen Vicente Gonzalez (TX-15) and Doug Collins (GA-09) today sent a letter to U.S. Department of Health and Human Services Secretary Alex M. Azar in support of provisions in the Modernizing Part D and Medicare Advantage to Lower Drug Prices and Reduce Out-of-Pocket Expenses proposed rule. The proposed rule would reform the use of pharmacy direct and indirect remuneration (DIR) fees, or pharmacy price concessions, in the Medicare Part D program.

The proposed rule includes many provisions from the Phair Pricing Act, which Congressmen Gonzalez and Collins reintroduced earlier this month.

“Transparency for Medicare recipients is a nonpartisan issue,” Congressman Gonzalez said. “The proposed rule from the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services to re-define negotiated prices to include applicable concessions, combined with the language put forth in the bipartisan Phair Pricing Act, provides hope for millions of Americans calling for lower prescription drug prices. I am proud to work with Congressman Collins to reduce the cost for patients via price concessions, rebates, and any other reductions possible. America’s prescription drug market can no longer hide behind a curtain, shielded from bipartisan oversight. I thank Secretary Azar for his support to reduce out of pocket costs by improving transparency.”

Excerpts from the letter:

“We write today in support of provisions in the Modernizing Part D and Medicare Advantage to Lower Drug Prices and Reduce Out-of-Pocket Expenses proposed rule (CMS-4180-P1) that would reform the use of pharmacy direct and indirect remuneration (DIR) fees, or pharmacy price concessions, in the Medicare Part D program.”

“The proposed rule, much like the Phair Pricing Act, would direct all price concessions between a pharmacy and a PDP sponsor or PBM to be included at the point of sale in order to decrease patients’ medication costs. This policy would help bring transparency to a notoriously complex industry.”

“We commend the Administration for seeking to eliminate retroactive pharmacy DIR fees and provide cost savings to seniors—policies which we have championed. We urge you to finalize this DIR proposal and work to standardize pharmacy quality measurement in the final rule for plan year 2020.”

Full text of the letter can be found here.

Background:

On February 7, 2019, Congressmen Gonzalez and Collins reintroduced H.R. 1034, the Phair Pricing Act, to address the gap between reality and the claims that pharmacy benefit managers (PBMs) and prescription drug plan (PDP) sponsors negotiate with pharmacies on behalf of patients.