Posted: May 30, 2019
Last week, the House Energy and Commerce Subcommittee on Health held a hearing entitled: “Improving Drug Pricing Transparency and Lowering Prices for American Consumers.” CSRO President, Dr. Madelaine Feldman, was invited to represent the Alliance for Specialty Medicine and deliver testimony at the hearing.
A number of bills were under consideration, and Dr. Feldman took particular care to address measures concerning the pharmaceutical supply chain and rebate system, and drug samples utilized by specialty physicians in her opening statement.
CSRO, as part of the vanguard of the Alliance for Transparent and Affordable Prescriptions (ATAP), has been at the forefront of raising awareness about how pharmacy benefit managers contribute to rising pharmacy costs for patients, and impede access to care. H.R. 2113, under consideration by the subcommittee, has encouraging provisions that improve transparency in the rebate system through certain disclosures. Dr. Feldman conveyed the alliance’s strong support for improved transparency that can clarify what can be done to improve patient access.
In addition, Dr. Feldman urged Congress to ensure the maintenance of access to pharmaceutical samples for specialty medications regularly used by rheumatologists and other specialty physicians. The Alliance for Specialty Medicine is concerned that legislation requiring pharmaceutical manufacturers to disclose certain information about the samples they disseminate would deter them from providing samples in the future. This would delay access to care while patients are forced to wade through cumbersome utilization management restrictions.
Dr. Feldman’s testimony also touched on issues such as a proposed out-of-pocket cap in Medicare Part D.