Bipartisan legislation modernizes federal prescription drug benefits to increase competition and drive down costs
Washington, D.C.--Senate Finance Committee Ranking Member Mike Crapo (R-Idaho) and Chair Ron Wyden (D-Oregon) today lauded committee passage of the Modernizing and Ensuring PBM Accountability Act (MEPA), which was reported out of committee 26-1. The legislation brings more transparency, accountability and competition to pharmacy benefit manager practices in the drug supply chain, helping to lower out-of-pocket costs for patients.
“These targeted reforms are an important first step that will empower consumers, plans, providers and pharmacies to make informed, cost-effective and clinically appropriate decisions, ultimately driving down prescription drug costs for patients,” said Crapo. “I thank Senator Wyden and all members of the Committee for their partnership and contributions to this legislation, and look forward to incorporating additional policies to generate the broad bipartisan support that will lead to enactment.”
“Today’s strong bipartisan vote has created a strong foundation for taking on drug pricing middlemen in the Senate,” said Wyden. “This legislation will modernize Medicare Part D and help lower health costs for seniors and taxpayers. I thank Senator Crapo for his partnership throughout this process and look forward to working with him in the days to come.”
The Modernizing and Ensuring PBM Accountability Act is supported by a strong coalition of Idaho groups, including the American Nurses Association Idaho, Boise Metro Chamber of Commerce, Idaho Academy of Family Physicians, Idaho Center for Nursing, Idaho Medical Association, Idaho Retailers Association, Idaho State Pharmacy Association, Idaho Technology Council, National Alliance on Mental Illness Idaho, North Idaho Alliance of Care, Nurse Leaders of Idaho, and Nurse Practitioners of Idaho; the Alliance for Transparent and Affordable Prescriptions; the Alliance of Community Health Plans; the Arthritis Foundation; the Coalition of State Rheumatological Organizations; the Cystic Fibrosis Foundation; the National Community Pharmacists Association; the National Consumers League; and a large coalition of patient groups.
During the markup, Senators Crapo and Wyden committed to continue working on additional proposals that will constitute a more comprehensive suite of reforms, and requested feedback from the Congressional Budget Office on proposals that would help to cut out-of-pocket costs, increase pharmacy access and ensuring that seniors benefit from lower-cost biosimilars.
Click here for more information on the legislation, including a description of the Chairman’s Mark and a section-by-section summary.