Senate HELP Committee Passes Drug-Pricing Bills, Skips One PBM Reform
The measures that the Senate health panel did advance include provisions that would ban pharmacy benefit managers from using so-called spread pricing and would require them to pass along rebates and payments they receive to insurers. Chair Bernie Sanders dropped for now one major PBM reform to end administrative fees based on a percentage of a drug’s list price.
Senate Panel Passes A Suite Of Drug Pricing Bills — But Fails To Advance One Major PBM Reform
The Senate health committee on Thursday passed a package of bills aimed at speeding generic drug competition and reining in drug middlemen business practices. But they failed to pass an ambitious reform to the pharmacy benefit manager sector, despite strong bipartisan support for it. (Wilkerson, 5/11)
Senate Panel Advances Drug Pricing Bills, Including PBM Reforms
The bill would prohibit a PBM practice known as “spread pricing,” or charging health plans more for a drug than the PBM reimburses to the pharmacy, a tactic that’s drawn harsh criticism from lawmakers. It would also implement new requirements designed to increase the transparency of PBM contracts and pricing practices and mandate that PBMs pass 100 percent of the rebates collected from drug makers to health plans. (Weixel, 5/11)
Wyden Decries 'Astonishingly Low' Tax Rates For Pharma Companies
Thanks to changes in tax law six years ago, several of the largest pharmaceutical companies saw their tax rates fall substantially, but they also reported that most of their profits were shifted offshore in an effort to avoid paying U.S. taxes, according to a memo by a U.S. Senate Committee. (Silverman, 5/11)
Pfizer CEO Calls US Drug Price Plan 'Negotiation With A Gun To Your Head'
Pfizer Inc Chief Executive Albert Bourla called U.S. plans to negotiate drug prices for its Medicare health program "negotiation with a gun to your head" and said he expects drugmakers to sue in an attempt to halt the process. "It is not negotiation at all. It is price setting," Bourla said at a Reuters newsmaker event on Thursday, referring to the Biden Administration’s signature drug pricing reform, part of the Inflation Reduction Act (IRA). The law aims to save $25 billion through price negotiations by 2031 for Americans who pay more for medicines than any other country. (Erman and Satija, 5/11)
Watch: Drug Company Executives Testify On Insulin Prices
Pharmaceutical industry CEOs and senior executives testified on lowering the cost of insulin before the Senate Health, Education, Labor, and Pensions Committee. The committee questioned the witnesses on drug pricing tactics and asked for transparency from the industry. Topics included stock buybacks for pharmaceutical companies, patient assistance programs for uninsured consumers, competitiveness in the market, and lowering the price of prescription drugs overall. (5/10)