Lipinski and Bipartisan House Problem Solvers Caucus Announce Agreement with Senate Common Sense Coalition to Fight for Lower Prescription Drug Prices

WASHINGTON— Congressman Dan Lipinski (IL-3) today joined members of the bipartisan House Problem Solvers Caucus and the bipartisan Senate Common Sense Coalition to announce plans to fight for legislation to lower prescription drug prices.  The 23 Democratic and 23 Republican House caucus members appeared at a press conference this morning with bipartisan Senate coalition chairs Joe Manchin (D-WV) and Susan Collins (R-ME).

A recent study by the Kaiser Family Foundation found that in the past year, 24 percent of Americans didn’t fill a prescription because of the high cost. Earlier this year, Rep. Lipinski helped pass the Strengthening Health Care and Lowering Prescription Drug Costs Act (H.R. 987), which included three bills to help get lower-priced generic drugs to market faster and create billions of dollars in savings for consumers and taxpayers.

“Millions of Americans are struggling with the high cost of essential prescription drugs.  As a diabetic, I know firsthand just how quickly prescription drug costs can add up in a year and how often drug companies raise prices.  That is why I helped House Democrats pass legislation to begin to fight to bring these prices down,” said Lipinski. “But clearly more needs to be done. That’s why I’m proud to be a part of this coalition of Democrats and Republicans, House Members and Senators who have come together on commonsense solutions to combat the increasing costs of prescription drugs.  The set of principles we are endorsing today will help drive action in both the House and Senate.”

The bipartisan, bicameral agreement says:

  • We support access to medications for patients through more transparency, competition, and affordability in the U.S. prescription drug market.
  • We support price transparency standards that give patients, health care providers, and the federal government clear information about drug costs.
  • We believe drug manufacturers should have to disclose, in a way consumers and providers can understand, the price of treatment for advertised drugs and explanation of prices.
  • We believe pharmacy benefit managers should have to disclose, in a way consumers and providers can understand, the discounts they receive from drug manufacturers that impact the cost of medications for patients.
  • We support patent transparency standards that help new drugs come to market as soon as possible.
  • We support competition among drug manufacturers that ensures continued R&D, makes drugs more affordable, and increases access for patients who need them.
  • We believe in enforcement mechanisms that pave the way for new, more affordable drugs if other manufacturers do not comply with transparency standards or engage in anti-competitive behavior.

Included below are summaries of some House bills reflected in the Problem Solvers Caucus’ principles that Rep. Lipinski has co-sponsored.  The Caucus will continue to work to pass legislation reflecting their principles.

  • H.R. 965, the "Creating and Restoring Equal Access to Equivalent Samples (CREATES) Act of 2019," to stop a legal loophole brand name drug companies use to avoid providing testing samples to generic manufacturers, thus preventing cheaper drugs from coming to market.
  • The “PBM Accountability Act of 2019” to require the Secretary of HHS to publicly disclose the aggregate rebates, discounts, and other price concessions achieved by pharmaceutical benefits managers (PBMs). PBMs work with insurers to negotiate discounts from drug companies, but we need transparency into this process to ensure that savings are actually passed on to patients.
  • H.R. 2069, the “Stopping the Pharmaceutical Industry from Keeping Drugs Expensive (SPIKE) Act of 2019,” which requires drug manufacturers to justify large price increases and high launch prices for drugs, and requires the Secretary of Health and Human Services (HHS) to publicly post a summary of the justification.