Congresswoman Anna Eshoo

Representing the 18th District of California

Eshoo Holds Legislative Hearing on Lowering Drug Prices

September 25, 2019
Press Release
WASHINGTON, D.C.— Today, Energy and Commerce Health Subcommittee Chairwoman Anna G. Eshoo (D-CA) held a hearing on legislation to address the rising costs of prescription drugs in the U.S.

To watch Chairwoman Eshoo’s opening statement, click HERE.

“Today, millions of Americans are fighting two battles – their illnesses and the cost of their prescription drugs.” Rep. Eshoo said. “A U.S. law prohibits Medicare from negotiating directly with drug companies, the only developed nation in the world with such a law. That’s why we’re taking up legislation to finally allow Medicare to negotiate drug prices to bring down costs for every American.”

 

The Subcommittee considered H.R. 3, the Lower Drug Costs Now Act. The legislation:

  • Lowers drug prices and out-of-pocket costs for all Americans by allowing the Secretary of Health and Human Services to negotiate directly with drug companies. All reforms will apply to Medicare and all private insurance plans.

 

  • Stops drug companies from charging Americans more for the same drugs that sell for less abroad.The plan limits the maximum price for any negotiated drug by averaging the price paid in other developed countries.

 

  • Creates a new out-of-pocket limit on prescription drug costs for Medicare beneficiaries.Today, seniors pay up to $5,100 in out-of-pocket costs, with some paying more. Under this plan, every senior will have their out-of-pocket costs capped at $2,000.

 

  • Reinvests in innovation and research for new cures and treatments. The savings from lower drug prices will be invested in research for new breakthrough treatments and cures at NIH. If the savings are great enough, improvements could include new Medicare coverage for vision, hearing, and dental, and improvements to benefits for low-income Medicare beneficiaries.

To read more about the legislation considered by the Subcommittee and to watch video footage of the hearing, click HERE.

In May, the Democratic House passed five bills which originated in the Health Subcommittee to get more affordable generic medications to consumers faster and close the loopholes drug companies use to stop competitors from coming to market. Under Chairwoman Eshoo’s leadership, the Health Subcommittee has also made progress on bringing transparency to drug prices by passing a package of bills that require drug companies to justify their attempts to hike drug prices and investigate the drug supply chain for anticompetitive practices.

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