January 29, 2019

Cassidy, Warner Unveil Draft Legislation to Lower Drug Prices Through Innovative Payment Models

WASHINGTON—U.S. Senators Bill Cassidy, M.D. (R-LA), and Mark Warner (D-VA) today released a draft version of the Patient Affordability, Value and Efficiency Act, bipartisan legislation they are developing to facilitate new and innovative payment models for pharmaceuticals and other medical services so that patients have better access to treatment, the health care market is more efficient, and drug prices are more affordable.

Cassidy and Warner are requesting feedback from all interested parties to ensure highly technical changes enabling value-based arrangements are thoroughly vetted, and that important oversight protections are preserved. Submissions should be emailed to Dr. Cassidy’s office at paveact@cassidy.senate.gov and to Sen. Warner’s office at paveact@warner.senate.gov by February 19, 2019.

“To lower the cost of health care, we should leverage new ideas and new approaches, and I’m proud Louisiana is helping to lead the way,” said Dr. Cassidy. “We are crafting this legislation to implement innovative, market-based solutions to increase patient access to care and make medications more affordable.”

“In recent years, skyrocketing prescription drug prices and health costs have made it more difficult for Americans and communities to access lifesaving care,” said Sen. Warner. “That’s why I’ve teamed up with Sen. Cassidy to re-align the way Americans are charged for prescription drugs and other health care costs. With input from experts and key stakeholders, we’ll be able to ensure that pharmaceutical companies and medical device manufacturers are incentivized to develop more effective treatments at a better price.”

The Cassidy-Warner proposal increases the ability to move toward value-based arrangements, which directly connect pricing for prescription drugs and medical devices to the clinical effectiveness of their products. Current healthcare law unintentionally restricts the ability of insurers, hospitals and clinics to pay for prescription drugs or medical devices based upon their proven effectiveness. The Patient Affordability, Value and Efficiency Act would provide for narrowly tailored exemptions to help drive down prescription drug and medical device costs while incentivizing manufacturers to create products that effectively treat patients.

In October, Dr. Cassidy coauthored an article for the Journal of the American Medical Association (JAMA) with Mark Trusheim of the Massachusetts Institute of Technology and Dr. Peter Bach of the Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center explaining their idea for a “Netflix” model to pay for drugs. This draft legislation restructures current barriers to allow the implementation of these kinds of innovative models.

Cassidy and Warner’s efforts are supported by a number of patient groups:

  • CureDuchenne
  • Cure Sanfilippo Foundation
  • Debra of America
  • Friedreich’s Ataxia Research Alliance
  • Global Genes – Allies in Rare Disease
  • MLD Foundation
  • MTM-CNM Family Connection
  • Myotonic Dystrophy Foundation
  • Parent Project Muscular Dystrophy – PPMD
  • Prevent Cancer Foundation
  • Power for Parkinson’s
  • Soft Bones, The Hypophosphatasia Foundation
  • The Michael J. Fox Foundation
  • The Joshua Frase Foundation