Policymakers Must Work to Reduce Drug Prices

For Immediate Release

Efforts to advance a drug pricing bill similar to one the Senate Finance Committee passed last summer by a vote of 19-9 appear to have stalled. Despite a recent call from Chairman Grassley for Leadership on Prescription Prices, Members of both parties in the Senate are walking away from the issue.

The Prescription Drug Pricing Reduction Act would reform and rationalize the Medicare Part D payment formula, reduce overall drug costs, save the federal government roughly $100 billion over a decade, and reduce out of pocket costs for seniors by almost as much. Lawmakers should be building upon, not abandoning, this bipartisan legislation. The following is a statement from Maya MacGuineas, president of the Committee for a Responsible Federal Budget:

“Health care costs and drug spending remain too high and this is an issue lawmakers should be working to address rather than abandoning. Fixing Medicare’s benefit design can help bring these costs down.

“The Senate Finance Committee legislation would remove perverse incentives that drive up drug costs, while putting forward new policies to limit excessive spending for seniors and the government, alike.

“The bill is not a silver bullet, but it is one of the most significant bipartisan health cost proposals to make it through the Senate Finance Committee in decades. Yet while the House has continued its efforts to lower drug prices, the Senate bill has stalled.

“Policymakers must not let good health care reform fail. They should continue to work on a bipartisan basis to address the high and rising costs of prescription drugs, end surprise billing through reforms that have support from both parties and both chambers of Congress, reduce excessive Medicare payments, and lower economy-wide health care costs.

“We literally cannot afford to let partisan and special-interest politics get in the way of substantive efforts to stem the growth of health care costs.”


For more information, please contact John Buhl, director of media relations, at buhl@crfb.org.