In the Senate: The Modernizing and Ensuring PBM Accountability (MEPA) Act, introduced by Committee Chair Ron Wyden (D-OR) and Ranking Member Mike Crapo (R-ID), passed the Senate Finance Committee by a bipartisan vote of 29-1.
The bill would:
prohibit PBMs in the Medicare Part D program from deriving compensation based on a manufacturer’s list price;
reform pharmacy reimbursement in Medicare Part D and prevent “spread pricing;” and,
require a report by the Health and Human Services Inspector General about the price impact of vertical integration of Part D plans, PBMs, and pharmacies.
The bill would require transparency for insurers and PBMs, giving patients and employers knowledge they need to stimulate competition and lower prices, Chair Jason Smith (R-MO) said.
In the weeds: Democrats objected to the lack of controls on Medicare Advantage plans and private-equity-owned healthcare organizations, though these controls passed with bipartisan support in the House Energy & Commerce Committee. Reps. Lloyd Doggett (D-TX), Earl Blumenauer (D-OR), and others raised objections, but Democrats’ amendments failed. Defending the omission, Chair Smith said the committee did not have time to discover appropriate Medicare Advantage transparency measures that do not harm the system.
What’s next: We expectCongress to push forward on PBM legislation this fall.
Emergencies can happen anytime. Companies faced with sudden financial impact, system downtimes, and environmental damage look to Clean Harbors, BIO’s remediation partner, for help handling emergency needs. This includes chemical/hazardous material spill responses, emergency lab packing, infectious agent response, and more.
What’s Happening on Capitol Hill: The House Rules Committee yesterday postponed the markup of a proposed Agriculture, Rural Development, Food and Drug Administration, and Related Agencies Appropriations Act for 2024 (H.R. 4368). POLITICO reports that Freedom Caucus opposition means the bill is unlikely to pass this week. The White House announced its opposition to the bill on Monday.
Biotechnology Innovation Organization (BIO)
1201 New York Avenue NW, Suite 1300, Washington, DC 20005-3972