Prescription Drug Price Relief Act of 2019

Article

Ron Lanton III, Esq., discusses the Prescription Drug Price Relief Act of 2019 at the National Association of Specialty Pharmacists Annual Meeting at Washington, DC.

Ron Lanton III, Esq.: The Prescription Drug Price Relief Act, that’s an interesting bill. Right now, it’s pending in Congress. It’s in the Senate HELP committee—the Health, Education, Labor, and Pensions Committee, otherwise known as Senate HELP. It’s sponsored by Bernie Sanders. And I’ve never seen this type of a bill before because what it does is it takes the IPI—the International Pricing Index—and it makes it a little bit more succinct. So the administration earlier had a blueprint where it talked about taking a drug and actually benchmarking it against 16 other countries, and this particular bill benchmarks the drug against 5 different countries. So it makes it a little smaller and more manageable to figure out how is the reimbursement going to be. What is interesting about this bill is that it has a couple of elements in it really aimed at drug pricing control and trying to get more generics and biosimilars out into the marketplace and, again, spelling out that IPI. What is interesting, though, is that it has 6 co-sponsors to it, and 5 of them are actually running for president, so I don’t think I’ve ever seen anything like this before. I’m not really sure if this is a bill to make a statement on, as the debates go, to maybe shape a future platform, or whether this is something that they’re going to continue to push. But if they do, they’re running out of legislative calendar time so that’s something to be mindful of.

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