WASHINGTON – U.S. Senator Bill Cassidy, M.D. (R-LA) issued the following statement after the Senate Finance Committee advanced the Modernizing and Ensuring PBM Accountability (MEPA) Act, which is built on his previous legislative efforts to lower drug costs.
“Today’s markup is a step in the right direction to make medicine more affordable,” said Dr. Cassidy. “Great to see the work from the previous Congresses guide the discussion and lay the groundwork to lower drug costs.”
Cassidy has long been talking about the importance to change the structure of the Part D program and Pharmacy Benefit Managers (PBMs).
In the 116th Congress, Cassidy helped pass the Prescription Drug Pricing Reduction Act of 2019 through the Senate Finance Committee which would save seniors and taxpayers $132 billion on the costs of medications. The legislation included proposals championed by Cassidy to bring transparency and accountability in the PBM industry, and reduced incentives for PBM’s that would lead to Americans paying more for their prescription drugs.
Earlier this summer, Cassidy penned an op-ed in STAT News outlining his comprehensive approach to lowering drug prices. As a physician who treated patients in Louisiana’s charity hospital system, Cassidy drew from his personal experience in understanding the need to balance innovation with affordability for patients. He discussed addressing potential misuse in the 340B drug program, gamesmanship that prevents lower-cost generic drugs from coming to market, misaligned incentives in the business model of pharmacy benefit managers (PBMs), and other issues contributing to high drug prices. Read more here.