McKinley Calls for a Bipartisan Solution to Lower Prescription Drug Prices

Opposes Partisan Drug Pricing Legislation Considered by the House Today

f t # e
Washington, December 12, 2019 | comments
Leading up to today’s vote on H.R.3, the Democrats’ partisan drug pricing bill, Representative David B. McKinley, P.E. (R-W.Va.) spoke on the House floor to urge his colleagues to oppose H.R. 3 and instead support a bipartisan alternative, the Lower Cost and More Cures Act (H.R. 19).                                 

Speaker Nancy Pelosi’s bill, H.R. 3, passed the House today (230-192).

“Senate leadership has said they will not vote on H.R. 3, and President Trump made it clear he would veto it. So, what are we doing here? If lowering the cost of prescriptions were really a priority for Democrats, they would vote to adopt H.R. 19 – the bipartisan amendment— instead of the politically charged bill H.R.3,” McKinley said. “H.R. 19 has 35 bipartisan provisions that have passed out of House committees and it includes 90% of the bipartisan Grassley-Wyden bill in the Senate. This bipartisan alternative will not only lower drug prices, but it will protect innovation and research into new medicines and cures for diseases like Alzheimer's, rheumatoid arthritis, ALS, diabetes and Parkinson's.”

“The Congressional Budget Office, and the Council of Economic Advisers all concluded that H.R. 3 will prevent hundreds of new cures from entering the market,” McKinley said. “Therefore, I have to ask the supporters of H.R. 3, which cures for our loved ones are you willing to sacrifice?”


To watch McKinley’s full remarks click on the photo above

The Lower Costs, More Cures Act is a package of bills that have already passed out of House committees or the entire House with strong bipartisan support. This legislation is aimed at reducing the cost of prescription drugs without hindering the creation of new life-saving medicines. The bill uses bipartisan reforms to lower out-of-pocket spending, protect access to new medicines and cures, and strengthen transparency and accountability. For more information on H.R. 19 click here.

The Lower Costs, More Cures Act, H.R. 19:

  • Places a cap on seniors’ out-of-pocket drug costs and allows seniors to manage their annual out-of-pocket spending.
  • Contains the bipartisan CREATES Act, legislation offered by McKinley to stop gamesmanship by brand drug companies and get cheaper generics to market faster.
  • Encourages innovation of groundbreaking new cures, promotes more low-cost options for patients, and curbs how drug companies can game of the system.
  • Requires insurance companies to cap the cost of insulin for seniors in Medicare Part D at $50 a month after they’ve paid their deductible.
  • Increases transparency and removes uncertainty at the pharmacy counter.
  • Cuts the cost of drug administration, including cancer treatment, for Medicare beneficiaries by as much as half.
  • Stops subsidizing other developed countries’ health care through stronger trade agreements.

The bipartisan alternative was offered as an amendment to H.R. 3, but not adopted by the House.

Background:

McKinley has been a Bipartisan Leader in addressing the rising cost of prescription drugs. He has introduced legislation aimed at lowering out-of-pocket spending, protecting access to new medicines and cures, and improving accountability.

  • Original cosponsor of The Lower Costs, More Cures Act, H.R. 19.  The Lower Costs, More Cures Act uses bipartisan reforms to lower out of pocket spending, protect access to new medicines and cures, strengthen transparency, and champion competition. Every single provision is bipartisan. 
  • Original cosponsor of H.R. 965, the CREATES Act. The bill is companion to FAST Generics and passed unanimously out of Energy and Commerce committee 52-0.
    • McKinley offered an amendment on the House floor to strip partisan political bills out of H.R. 987 and leave just the bipartisan drug pricing measures. Unfortunately, the amendment did not pass. 
    • CREATES is also included in the Lower Costs, More Cures Act, H.R. 19.
  • Introduced H.R. 4913, the Ensuring Access to Lower-Cost Medicines for Seniors Act, a bill that seeks to reverse the negative impact of recent changes that unnecessarily increasing what patients on Medicare Part D pay out-of-pocket for generic drugs.
  • Introduced H.R. 3812, the Reforming Evergreening and Manipulation that Extends Drug Years (REMEDY) Act. This legislation would limit brand drug companies practice of ‘evergreening’ patents to extend their patent exclusivity and thus monopoly in the marketplace. By doing so the bill would bring generic drugs to market quicker and lower drug costs for patients.
  • Introduced H.R. 2051Fair Access for Safe and Timely (FAST) Generics Act of 2017, a bill that increases access to generic drugs and will save consumers money by allowing quicker access to generics
  • Introduced H.R. 2999, Patients’ Access to Treatments Act of 2017, a bill that evens the playing field for patients suffering from high-cost, chronic diseases such as arthritis, MS or cancer, by eliminating the specialty tier copayment and moving those tier IV prescriptions to tier III for cost-sharing purposes. PATA will ensure patients more access to lifesaving and life changing medicine
  • Supported S. 2554, the Patient Right to Know Drug Prices and S. 2553, the Know the Lowest Price Act, both signed into law by President Trump. The bills would, respectively, ban health plans and pharmacy benefit managers from creating contracts which prohibit pharmacists from telling beneficiaries in the Medicare Advantage and Medicare Part D programs of lower drug price options at the retail counter. These are called ‘gag clauses.’ (PL #115-263; PL # 115-262).  

In April with McKinley’s support the following bills passed out of the Energy and Commerce Committee in April with bipartisan support but were then paired with measures that prevented a bipartisan vote on the House Floor:

  • The “Creating and Restoring Equal Access to Equivalent Samples (CREATES) Act of 2019,” H.R. 965, would establish a process by which generic manufacturers could obtain sufficient quantities of brand drug samples for testing thereby deterring gaming of safety protocols that brand manufacturers use to delay or impede generic entry. The bill was passed unanimously by Energy and Commence
  • The “Payment Commission Data Act of 2019,” H.R. 1781, which provides the Medicare Payment Advisory Commission (MedPAC) and the Medicaid and CHIP Payment and Access Commission (MACPAC) with access to drug pricing and rebate data in order for these independent, non-partisan commissions to help Congress better understand the true costs of prescription drugs to consumers and taxpayers. The bill was passed unanimously by Energy and Commence
  • The "Bringing Low-cost Options and Competition while Keeping Incentives for New Generics (BLOCKING) Act of 2019," H.R. 938, which would discourage parking of 180-day exclusivity by a first generic applicant that is blocking the approval of other generics.  The bill was passed unanimously by Energy and Commence
  • The "Purple Book Continuity Act of 2019," H.R. 1520,  would codify publication of the patents of approved biological products in the Purple Book in a similar format and with similar requirements to the Orange Book, specify that the Purple Book should be published electronically on FDA’s website and updated routinely, and direct FDA to consider the types of patents that should be listed in the Purple Book. The bill was passed unanimously by Energy and Commence
  • The "Orange Book Transparency Act of 2019," H.R. 1503, would help to ensure that the Orange Book is accurate and up-to-date, by requiring manufacturers to share complete and timely information with FDA, as well as ensuring that patents listed in the Orange Book are relevant to the approved drug product. Patents found to be invalid through a court decision or a decision by the Patent Trial and Appeal Board would be required to be removed promptly. The bill was passed unanimously by Energy and Commence
  • The "Protecting Consumer Access to Generic Drugs Act of 2019," H.R. 1499, would make it illegal for brand-name and generic drug manufacturers to enter into agreements in which the brand-name drug manufacturer pays the generic manufacturer to keep a generic equivalent off the market. The bill was passed unanimously by Energy and Commence

###

f t # e

Stay Connected

Use the form below to sign up for my newsletter and get the latest news and updates directly to your inbox.