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Prescription Drug Affordability

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Congresswoman Eshoo, a senior member of the Energy and Commerce Committee, is guided by three things when considering drug policy: safety, affordability, and innovation.

She has called for hearings on the soaring costs of prescription drugs; pushed for reforms to the current drug pricing system to increase transparency and affordability ; and wrote the law establishing the first ever-pathway for the approval of biosimilars to bring lower-cost alternatives to the most expensive drugs (biologics) to patients.

Congresswoman Eshoo believes one of the factors contributing to the rising cost of prescription drugs is a lack of transparency throughout the drug supply chain and understands that families in her Congressional District and across the country struggle to afford the cost of medications they need. She is the lead Democrat in the House on H.R. 6641, the True COST Act, legislation that lifts the outrageous restrictions currently in place called ‘gag clauses’ which prevent pharmacists from informing consumers of the most cost-effective way to pay for their medications. The bill also includes protections to ensure patients are saving money when purchasing their prescriptions.

Congresswoman Eshoo is also an original cosponsor of H.R. 6733, Know the Cost Act of 2018, which prohibits gag clauses in group health plans offered by employers, individual insurance plans, Medicare Advantage and Part D plans. The Senate version of H.R. 6733 was signed into law on October 10, 2018.

To limit copayments and out-of-pocket costs for specialty drugs which insurance companies often put in a separate tier with higher cost sharing obligations for patients, Rep Eshoo is a cosponsor of H.R. 2999, the Patients’ Access to Treatments Act to establish cost sharing limits on specialty drugs.

Congresswoman Eshoo is the Co-Chair of multiple patient-focused caucuses that advocate for research and raise awareness: the Congressional Arthritis Caucus with Rep. David McKinley (R-WV) and Co-Chair of the Congressional Deadliest Cancers with Reps. Joe Kennedy (D-MA), Leonard Lance (R-NJ) and Dave Reichert (R-WA).

Congresswoman Eshoo has received numerous awards for her work on behalf of patients, including: the Champions for Health Senior Award; the Scott Hamilton CARES Foundation Turn Cancer Upside Down Award; and the National Association of Community Health Centers Distinguished Community Health Advocate Award. She was also recognized by a coalition of groups including the California Hispanic Chamber of Commerce; California Hepatitis C Task Force; the International Association of Hepatitis Task Forces; the International Cancer Advocacy Network; the California Biotech Foundation; and the American Life Sciences Innovation Council (ALSIC) with the 2018 Champion of Health Care Innovation Award, honoring her past and current efforts in Congress to nurture the important policies that position America as the world’s leading force in the innovative life sciences.

 

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