Key Panel Oks Buchanan Plan to Disclose Drug Prices
WASHINGTON — The U.S. House Ways & Means Committee today passed Congressman Vern Buchanan’s bipartisan legislation to provide greater transparency in drug pricing.
The Reporting Accurate Drug Prices Act (H.R. 2113), introduced by Buchanan and Congressman Lloyd Doggett, would require all drug manufactures to submit information to the Health and Human Services Department (HHS) on the average sales price of drugs administered under Medicare Part B, which covers drugs that usually are not self-administered.
“Medicare spends billions of taxpayer dollars based on incomplete information,” said Buchanan. “Requiring full and accurate disclosure of pricing is commonsense reform. Our bipartisan legislation would promote accountability and ensure that payments for Medicare part B drugs are set using all the relevant and necessary data.”
Existing law requires that most – but not all – manufacturers for drugs covered under Medicare Part B report the average sales price to HHS. Only manufacturers with Medicaid rebate agreements are compelled to report. Buchanan’s bill passed as part of a legislative package and is expected to be taken up by the full House.
Physicians, medical facilities, and various healthcare providers have the responsibility for purchasing these drugs, and are thereafter reimbursed by Medicare based on the average sales price.
Specifically, Buchanan’s legislation was incorporated into the Prescription Drug Sunshine, Transparency, Accountability and Reporting (STAR) Act, a broader bill to increase drug pricing transparency.
AARP, which officially endorsed the STAR Act, stated that Buchanan’s legislation would, “require all drug manufacturers to provide timely reporting on the average sales prices (ASP) for their drugs, which will help to ensure that Part B reimbursement for those drugs is accurate.” The Government Accountability Organization (GAO), Medicare Payment Advisory Commission (MedPAC), and HHS office of Inspector General (OIG) also support Buchanan’s legislative fix.
As a senior member of the powerful U.S. House Ways and Means Committee, which has jurisdiction over Social Security and Medicare, Buchanan will continue to fight to protect these programs. In 2016, the president signed into law Buchanan’s proposal to preserve certain Medicare Advantage plans.