WASHINGTON — Sen. Chuck Grassley (R-Iowa) is pushing the Biden administration to provide a concrete plan for implementing two critical measures that would improve prescription drug pricing transparency and hold health insurance companies accountable. Specifically, Grassley requests an update from the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) on the status of the Medicare Part D Real-Time Benefits Tool (RTBT), and he also requests an update from the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) and the Department of Labor (DOL) on their plans to implement prescription drug price transparency rules for health insurance companies.
“Transparency will bring more accountability to the healthcare industry and lower costs for consumers,” said Grassley. “I’m asking CMS to properly implement a real-time benefit tool that lets seniors know more about the true cost of their medications. I also call on federal agencies to immediately implement price transparency rules for prescription drug data. It is high time for our health care industry to operate in the sun.
“I appreciate Senator Grassley’s work in putting a much-needed spotlight on healthcare transparency, including pharmaceutical price transparency. Federal agencies must keep their promises. It is essential that consumers, employers and taxpayers receive this information in a timely manner to make informed decisions about their health care. Too often, consumers don’t know the true cost of a service or prescription drug, and they have to foot the bill. Transparency will bring more accountability and lower costs,” said Paul M. Pietzsch, president of the Health Policy Corporation of Iowaan independent, nonprofit organization that develops and supports initiatives related to cost containment, quality, and access to health services in Iowa.
For years, Grassley has led efforts to pass bipartisan prescription drug pricing reform that saves taxpayers and consumers money, caps annual spending and prevents prices from rising. rise faster than inflation – all without raising taxes or driving up prices. upper. Grassley is the author of Prescription Drug Price Reduction Act
(PDPRA), which includes 25 bipartisan provisions to establish accountability and transparency in the pharmaceutical industry.
Recently, Grassley tabled the PDPRA as an amendment with 10 Republican co-sponsors of the Democrats’ irresponsible tax and spending bill, meaning comprehensive drug pricing reform could have garnered the necessary 60 votes. to overcome a buccaneer and could have been passed with bipartisan support. However, those provisions were left out of the bill, with Democrats opting instead to take an all-partisan approach.
Over the past year, Grassley has passed five of its bipartisan drug pricing bills in committee that seek to lower prices, increase competition and hold Big Pharma and intermediaries accountable. Sadly, Majority Leader Schumer won’t get them through — even though they would easily pass the Senate.
The full text of Grassley’s letter to CMS is available HERE.
The full text of Grassley’s letter to HHS and DOL is available HERE.