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Collins, Gonzalez Commend Trump Administration's Proposed Rule to Lower Drug Prices

Feb 21, 2019
Press Release

WASHINGTON—Today, Rep. Doug Collins (R-Ga.) and Rep. Vicente Gonzalez (D-TX) sent a letter to U.S. Department of Health and Human Services Secretary Alex M. Azar in support of provisions in the Modernizing Part D and Medicare Advantage to Lower Drug Prices and Reduce Out-of-Pocket Expenses proposed rule. The proposed rule would reform the use of pharmacy direct and indirect remuneration (DIR) fees, or pharmacy price concessions, in the Medicare Part D program.

The proposed rule includes many provisions from the Phair Pricing Act, which Reps. Collins and Gonzalez reintroduced earlier this month.

Excerpts from the letter:

"We write today in support of provisions in the Modernizing Part D and Medicare Advantage to Lower Drug Prices and Reduce Out-of-Pocket Expenses proposed rule (CMS-4180-P1) that would reform the use of pharmacy direct and indirect remuneration (DIR) fees, or pharmacy price concessions, in the Medicare Part D program."

"The proposed rule, much like the Phair Pricing Act, would direct all price concessions between a pharmacy and a PDP sponsor or PBM to be included at the point of sale in order to decrease patients' medication costs. This policy would help bring transparency to a notoriously complex industry."

"We commend the Administration for seeking to eliminate retroactive pharmacy DIR fees and provide cost savings to seniors—policies which we have championed. We urge you to finalize this DIR proposal and work to standardize pharmacy quality measurement in the final rule for plan year 2020."

Full text of the letter can be found here.

Background:

On February 7, 2019, Reps. Collins and Gonzalez reintroduced H.R. 1034, the Phair Pricing Act, to address the gap between reality and the claims that pharmacy benefit managers (PBMs) and prescription drug plan (PDP) sponsors negotiate with pharmacies on behalf of patients. 

Issues: