GOP Doctors Caucus Applauds Trump Administration Rebate Proposal
WASHINGTON, D.C. – Today, Reps. Phil Roe, M.D. (R-TN), Buddy Carter (R-GA), Andy Harris, M.D. (R-MD), Ralph Abraham, M.D. (R-LA), Larry Bucshon, M.D. (R-IN), Scott DesJarlais, M.D. (R-TN), Neal Dunn, M.D. (R- FL), John Joyce, M.D. (R-PA) released the following statements after sending a letter to the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) applauding the agency’s proposed rule to limit the use of rebates:
“I am pleased the Trump administration has taken action to ensure the over 43 million Americans enrolled in Medicare Part D will be seeing lower out-of-pocket costs on their prescriptions thanks to the recently announced rebate rule. For too long, prescription rebates have not gone to the patients; and it is time for this to change,” said Roe. “These reforms will replace the current system of middleman kickbacks with transparent, point-of-sale discounts that will lower the cost of prescriptions for Part D enrollees. It is estimated that this plan will reduce Medicare spending by over $100 billion over 10 years, and I want to thank HHS Secretary Alex Azar and President Trump for their tireless efforts to lower prescription drug costs for America’s seniors.”
“I am very glad that President Trump and the administration have taken on this issue in a serious way,” said Carter. “The proposed rule will eliminate backroom deals and help to ensure discounts are actually passed to patients. These changes will increase transparency and rein in the middlemen, pharmacy benefit managers, who are driving up prescription drug prices. As I always say, sunlight is the best disinfectant. I am committed to continuing this important work with my colleagues in Congress and with the administration to lower drug prices for all Americans.”
“I applaud Secretary Azar and this Administration for making the reduction of patients’ prescription drug costs a priority. The most recently proposed rule eliminates the ‘rebate wall’ that many patients face when purchasing needed medication, and passes savings directly to consumers. I support the Administration’s efforts to reduce out-of-pocket costs for patients,” said Harris.
“As a doctor, I see how patients can struggle to afford their medicine because drug prices are just too high, particularly for those on Medicare with fixed incomes. Patients, not pharmacy benefit managers, should benefit first from prescription rebates,” said Abraham. “This new proposal will help patients better afford their medicine and save the taxpayers billions of dollars in the process.”
“Far too many American seniors struggle to afford high out-of-pocket costs for their prescription drugs, and efforts like the Administration’s proposed rule will help lower costs at the pharmacy counter for a majority of seniors. I support this effort and look forward to continuing to find ways to lower the out-of-pocket health care costs of patients,” said Bucshon.
“When we talk about patient-centered health care, this is what we mean: a rebate system in which patients themselves, not pharmacy benefit managers, receive rebates that lower their prescription costs,” said DesJarlais. “This change will also increase efficiency in the Medicare Part D program, saving taxpayers money. It is another reform, in addition to Association Health Plans, flexible short-term insurance, and a speedier FDA approval process, that is helping to lower Americans’ health care costs and improve quality. Republicans have also led the effort to eliminate Obamacare’s individual mandate, the medical device tax and other taxes driving up the costs of care.”
“I am proud to join with my fellow Doc Caucus Colleagues in supporting the President Trump’s proposal to lower prescription drugs prices for America’s seniors. No longer will pharmacy benefit managers reap the benefits of drug rebates at the expense of patients. For far too long seniors have faced increasing drug prices, leaving some to even make the hard decision of foregoing medication because of costs. I applaud the Trump Administration in their efforts to lower drug costs for seniors, while cracking down on the unfair practices of pharmacy benefits managers,” said Dunn.
“In my 25 years as a physician I have seen first-hand that a major reason why drug prices continue to rise each year is because of the lack of incentives that companies have to lower them. The Trump administration’s innovative approach to encourage drug manufacturers to pass their savings on to their consumers should be commended and I look forward to continuing to work with Secretary Azar and the entire administration on other initiatives to reduce what Americans are paying at their pharmacy counters,” said Joyce.