Ways & Means Committee Approves Drug-Pricing Transparency Bill

April 2019 ~

The House Ways and Means Committee has unanimously approved drug-pricing legislation that, if passed, would require price transparency from drug makers and pharmacy benefit managers.

The Prescription Drug Sunshine, Transparency, Accountability and Reporting Act (H.R. 2113), addresses key issues related to transparency and public reporting of information in order to improve accountability and ensure consumers, purchasers, payers, and taxpayers have a better understanding of this opaque market.

If finalized, the STAR Act would:

  • Require drug manufacturers to publicly justify large price increases for existing drugs and high launch prices for new drugs.
  • Require applicable manufacturers to report to the Secretary the total aggregate monetary value and quantity of samples provided to covered entities.
  • Require the Secretary to conduct a study on inpatient (Medicare Part A) drug costs, including trends in the use of inpatient drugs by hospital type.
  • Require the Secretary of Health and Human Services to publicly disclose the aggregate rebates, discounts, and other price concessions achieved by pharmaceutical benefits managers (PBMs) on a public website, so consumers, employers, and other payers can understand and compare the discounts PBMs receive.
  • Require all drug manufacturers to submit information to the Secretary on the average sales price (ASP) for physician-administered drugs covered under Medicare Part B.

“Today, our committee put aside our ideological differences and passed the bipartisan Prescription Drug STAR Act, a first step in addressing the high cost of prescription drugs affecting consumers in Massachusetts, Texas, and across the country by improving transparency for patients,” said Chairman Representative, Richard Neal, and Committee member Representative, Kevin Brady, in a joint statement.

They added, “This bipartisan effort brings sunlight across the health care supply chain, from pharmaceutical manufacturers to pharmacy benefit managers, to help reduce costs for families. There is more work to be done on this bill and on this issue and we look forward to continuing our bipartisan work to address other drug pricing and pressing health care issues the American people face.”


Source(s): Ways and Means Committee; Inside Health Policy; AHA;