The final four months of 2019 will be a “now-or-never” time for Congress to take substantive action to lower prescription drug prices. So far in the 116th Congress, the House and Senate have each taken actions on this issue. The House held nearly a dozen congressional hearings to examine the rise of drug prices, marked up and reported out about a half-dozen bills from three different committees. Of these, the House Energy and Commerce (E&C) Committee dedicated more hearings on the issue and also seemed to have packaged together a broader bill than the other committees. The More Efficient Tools to Realize Information for Consumers (METRIC) Act (H.R. 2296), passed the E&C Committee last month shortly before the House left town for the August recess. In short, the METRIC Act would increase public disclosures of drug pricing information as well as more oversight over pharmacy benefit managers (PBMs). The bill awaits House floor consideration once the House comes back from its recess in September.
On the other end of the U.S. Capitol Building, the Senate held more than six separate hearings on the drug pricing issue. In total, six bills were marked up and reported out from three different committees – […]