Warner helps secure committee passage of bill to lower drug costs
U.S. Sen. Mark Warner (D-VA) voted this week in the Senate Finance Committee to approve bipartisan legislation to lower the cost of prescription drugs, sending the legislation to the full Senate for consideration.
One recent report on the cost of prescription drugs in Virginia found that the annual cost of prescription drug treatment increased by 57.8 percent between 2012 and 2017, dramatically outpacing the 8.5 percent growth in Virginians’ incomes over the same period. The Prescription Drug Pricing Reduction Act of 2019 (PDPRA), which was approved by a bipartisan Committee vote of 19-9, will help address the rising cost of prescription drugs by taking on industry price hikes and protecting seniors with the highest out-of-pocket costs.
The Prescription Drug Pricing Reduction Act of 2019 takes key steps to lower prescription drug costs by overhauling the Medicare Part D program and creating a $3,100 yearly out-of-pocket cap to protect seniors with high drug costs. In addition, the legislation creates a price hike penalty for pharmaceutical companies if they raise the cost of a prescription drug faster than the rate of inflation. The bill also includes a provision similar to Sen. Warner’s bipartisan legislation that would allow state Medicaid programs grappling with rising drug costs to explore value-based pricing arrangements that peg the price of a drug to its effectiveness.
According to the non-partisan Congressional Budget Office (CBO), the Prescription Drug Pricing Reduction Act of 2019 (PDPRA) will save seniors $27 billion in out-of-pocket costs and will generate more than $100 billion in taxpayer savings over the next 10 years.
In Congress, Sen. Warner has long pushed for policy changes to help lower prescription drug costs for Virginia seniors and families. In January, Sen. Warner re-introduced legislationto allow Medicare to negotiate prescription drug prices—a move that would cut costs for nearly 43 million seniors enrolled in Medicare Part D.