Eshoo Holds Legislative Hearing on ? Price Transparency and Lower Prices

May 21, 2019
Press Release
WASHINGTON, D.C. — Health Subcommittee Chairwoman Anna G. Eshoo (D-CA) held a hearing on bipartisan legislative proposals to improve drug supply chain transparency for consumers and reduce costs for low-income Medicare beneficiaries.

“Our Subcommittee held a hearing earlier this month to follow the money in the drug supply chain, and instead of answers, we found secrets,” Chairwoman Eshoo said. “Today, we considered bipartisan legislation to unmask the secret decisions and deals that create unaffordable drug prices, and to ensure low-income seniors can afford their medications.”

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

Seven bills were considered before the Subcommittee, including the Creating Lower Cost Alternatives for Your Prescription Drugs Act. It ensures low-income Medicare enrollees can afford their drugs by eliminating cost-sharing for generic drugs and capping out-of-pocket costs for other drugs. Nearly 25 percent of seniors who take drugs report it is difficult for them to afford their medications. This legislation will not only save seniors money, it can also save lives.

Four bills were considered to expose how drug prices are set:

  • The SPIKE Act and the FAIR Drug Pricing Act require drug manufacturers to justify large spikes in drug prices.
  • The Reporting Accurate Drug Prices Act requires manufacturers to report the average sales price of Medicare Part B drugs to the Department of Health and Human Services. This bill makes sure Medicare is paying the right price for Part B drugs.
  • The Sunshine for Samples Act directs companies to report the price and quantity of the free samples of drugs, devices, and medical supplies they give to health care providers. It will bring greater transparency to the potential effects of samples on provider prescribing practices.

Two bills were considered to expose secret deals between Pharmacy Benefit Managers (PBMs) and other stakeholders in the drug supply chain:

  • The Public Disclosure of Drug Discounts Act requires PBMs to report the discounts they negotiate with drug manufacturers to ensure the discount is passed to patients.
  • The Prescription Pricing for the People Act directs the Federal Trade Commission to review PBMs to ensure no anticompetitive behaviors exist.

As Chairwoman of the Energy and Commerce Health Subcommittee, Rep. Eshoo has held three hearings and passed six bipartisan bills out of her Subcommittee and the full Energy and Commerce Committee to make medications more affordable. The bills passed the full House last week 234-to-183 as a part of the Strengthening Health Care and Lowering Prescription Drug Costs Act. Rep. Eshoo’s Purple Book Continuity Act of 2019 was unanimously passed in the House as the first bill to address drug pricing in the 116th Congress.