FDAnews Drug Daily Bulletin
Pharmaceuticals / Regulatory Affairs

House, Senate Take Aim at Drug Prices

April 16, 2019

The House and Senate each took a hard look at drug pricing last week, one in a mark-up of a bill to require drugmakers to make public justifications for price increases or high launch prices, the other in a hearing that gathered executives from some of the nation’s largest pharmacy benefit managers.

The House Ways and Means health subcommittee took up the STAR Act (H.R. 2113). The bill would require drugmakers to justify any list price increases above 10 percent (or $10,000) in a single year or 25 percent (or $25,000) over three years. It also requires HHS to publish those justifications.

The STAR Act is similar to one section of the so-called SPIKE Act (H.R. 2069), versions of which are pending in the House and the Senate.

The Senate Finance Committee heard from leaders of Cigna, CVS Health, Humana, OptumRx and Prime Therapeutics. The Trump administration is poised to finalize rules that would subject manufacturer rebates to the anti-kickbacks statute and require benefit managers to give any rebates to the customer at the point of purchase.

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