U.S. Senator Joni Ernst (R-IA) is encouraging Congress to come together on a solution to address the rising costs of prescription drugs by lending her support to two more Senate proposals. Ernst is joining in support of her fellow Iowan Senator Chuck Grassley’s (R-IA) bill, the Prescription Drug Pricing Reduction Act, as well as Senator Mike Crapo’s (R-ID) bill, the Lower Costs More Cures Act.
“At nearly every town hall or other stop I make on my 99 County Tour, and even in discussions around the kitchen table with my family members who depend on life-saving medications, Iowans from every corner of the state have made it clear that they want to see Congress address the skyrocketing cost of prescription drugs. This issue is a top priority for me and it’s why I’ve been working across the aisle on a number of proposals. While we’ve made some progress, there’s more work to do,” said Senator Joni Ernst. “We need to take a hard look at all the proposals on the table and come together to find solutions. I’m working toward that end, and I hope many more will join me.”
Senator Grassley said, “Senator Ernst pledged to lower drug prices, and her support for this bipartisan bill shows that when she makes a promise, she keeps it. Iowans know they can trust Senator Ernst to work hard, follow through and do what it takes to get the job done. I’ve worked with Senator Ernst for more than a year now to lower drug prices and hold bad actors accountable. Her support will be critical in turning this legislation into law.”
Senator Crapo said, “I share Senator Ernst’s steadfast commitment to lowering prescription drug costs for many Americans. I will continue working closely with her and others in the Senate to advance comprehensive legislation that will make medications more affordable, encourage advances in new cures and adhere to market-driven principles.”
Senator Ernst has long fought to lower prescription drug costs. She helped pass the CREATES Act through the Senate and to get it signed into law, which provides for more competition in the marketplace to help drive down costs.
In addition to the Grassley proposal and the Crapo proposal, Senator Ernst has helped introduce, cosponsor, or get signed into law the following bills targeting high health care and drug costs:
- The Creating and Restoring Equal Access To Equivalent Samples (CREATES) Act –prevents brand-name pharmaceutical and biologic companies from stifling competition by blocking the entry of lower-cost generic drugs into the market. [Signed into law]
- The Lower Health Care Costs Act – A broad, bipartisan package of legislation that improves transparency and streamlines the Food and Drug Administration’s approval process of prescription drugs as well as addresses anticompetitive behaviors in the pharmaceutical supply-chain. [Passed the Senate HELP Committee]
- The Preserving Access to Cost Effective Drugs (PACED) Act – Removes a loophole in the patenting process which allows manipulators to pay Native American tribes to take “ownership” of their patents as a way to claim sovereign immunity and avoid federal review in the case of a dispute. [Passed the Senate Judiciary Committee]
- Prescription Pricing for the People Act – Requires the Federal Trade Commission to study the role of pharmacy middle-men in the supply chain and the extent to which they stifle competition and therefore drive-up prices. [Passed the Senate Judiciary Committee]
- Drug-Price Transparency in Communications Act – Codifies the Trump Administration’s rule that would require drug companies to disclose their list prices on all direct-to-consumer TV advertising.
- Phair Pricing Act – Limits all price concessions between pharmacies and pharmacy benefit managers (PBMs) to the point-of-sale by requiring PBMs to disclose the price concessions that they charge pharmacies to the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS), bringing about more transparency.
- Improving Transparency and Accuracy in Medicare Part D Spending Act – Limits all kickback fees – or Direct and Indirect Remuneration (DIR) fees – to the point of sale on all accurate Medicare Part D claims, ensuring that community pharmacists can continue serving Medicare beneficiaries.
- Right Rebate Act – Prohibit pharmaceutical companies from leveraging a regulatory loophole that allows them to misclassify their Medicaid drugs and therefore charge the government more money.
- Preserve Access to Affordable Generics and Biosimilars Act – Bans the practice of pay-for-delay deals, which pharmaceutical companies are currently engaging in to prevent or delay the introduction of affordable versions of brand-name drugs.