Washington, D.C. – U.S. Senators John McCain (R-AZ) and Tammy Baldwin (D-WI), and Representative Jan Schakowsky (D-IL) today reintroduced the Fair Accountability and Innovative Research (FAIR) Drug Pricing Act, bipartisan and bicameral legislation that takes the first step in addressing skyrocketing prescription drug prices by providing transparency of pharmaceutical corporations that plan to significantly increase drug prices. U.S. prescription drug spending reached a record high of $425 billion in 2015, accounting for almost 16.7 percent of all U.S. health care spending, with expectations that spending will surpass $600 billion by 2020.
“Far too many Americans have been unfairly burdened by the rising costs of prescription medication,” said Senator McCain. “The American people should not be forced to choose between filling a prescription and making their monthly mortgage payment. This legislation would bring much-needed transparency to prescription drug prices – a policy that 8 in 10 Americans support, according to the Kaiser Family Foundation. Transparency leads to accountability, and it is past time that mantra applied to the skyrocketing cost of prescription medication.”
“Drug corporations are sticking it to Americans with skyrocketing prescription drug prices,” said Senator Baldwin. “I’ve heard from countless Wisconsinites who continue to see dramatic price increases. They are struggling to afford their prescriptions that they have relied on for years and they want Washington to act. Our bipartisan reform will require transparency and accountability for drug corporations who are jacking up costs for families in need of affordable lifesaving treatments.”
“The need for action to solve the prescription drug price crisis facing Americans is undeniable,” said Representative Schakowsky. “When a quarter of families in our country are unable to fill out prescriptions for the drugs they need due to skyrocketing costs, it is time to hold manufacturers accountable. If a prescription drug corporation wants to hike the price of life-saving medications, they should have to face the American people and explain why. I’m proud to join Senators McCain and Baldwin in proposing a bicameral, bipartisan solution to ensure drug companies come clean to the American people.”
“It’s abundantly clear that we need to address the unsustainable trend of sky-high prescription drug prices,” said AARP CEO Jo Ann Jenkins. “The FAIR Drug Pricing Act is an important step in demanding more transparency from pharmaceutical companies when they dramatically raise the prices of their products.”
“The prescription drug market is broken. There is little competition, costs are out of control, and consumers are denied information on the costs of the medications they depend on,” said Will Holley of the Campaign for Sustainable Rx Pricing (CSRxP). “We applaud Senators McCain and Baldwin and Representative Schakowsky for introducing this bipartisan solution for Americans to better understand the real drivers of prescription drug prices. The open and honest information that this legislation creates would go a long way towards creating educated consumers and building a functional prescription drug market that works.”
The FAIR Drug Pricing Act would require drug manufacturers to notify the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) and submit a transparency and justification report 30 days before they increase the price of certain drugs that cost at least $100 by more than 10 percent in one year or 25 percent over three years. The report would require manufacturers to provide a justification for each price increase; manufacturing, research and development costs for the qualifying drug; net profits attributable to the qualifying drug; marketing and advertising spending on the qualifying drug; and other information as deemed appropriate. The bill would not prohibit manufacturers from increasing prices, but it would, for the first time, give taxpayers notice of price increases and bring basic transparency to the market for prescription drugs.
Read the FAIR Drug Pricing Act legislation here.