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Ernst Continues Work to Lower Prescription Drug Prices for Iowans

Continuing her efforts to tackle the skyrocketing costs of prescription drugs, U.S. Senator Joni Ernst (R-Iowa) is working to lower prescription drug prices, bring greater transparency to the prescription drug industry, and encourage American ingenuity in the development of new treatments and cures.

 “Whether it’s on my 99 County Tour or even in discussions around the kitchen table with my family members who depend on life-saving medications, folks from every corner of our state are clear that they want to see Congress act to address the skyrocketing costs of prescription drugs,” said Senator Ernst. “This continues to be a top priority for me, and while we’ve had success in getting laws on the books to help reduce costs, there’s more work to do, which is why I’m proud to join Senator Crapo and my colleagues on this legislation.”

The Lower Costs, More Cures Act, among other things, would:

·       Modernize payments for drugs delivered in the doctor’s office under Medicare Part B;

·       Incentivize lower-cost alternatives, or biosimilars;

·       Establish an annual out-of-pocket cap of $3,100 for Medicare Part D enrollees and allow certain patients to pay in monthly installments;

·       Decrease beneficiary cost sharing from 25 percent to 15 percent of costs before the out-of-pocket cap is reached;

·       Allow prescription drug plan sponsors to offer, at minimum, up to four Part D plans per region, spurring competition and innovation;

·       Make permanent the Center for Medicare and Medicaid Innovation model that enables Part D enrollees taking insulin to limit out-of-pocket costs to $35;

·       Allow state Medicaid programs to enter in outcomes-based agreements to pay for life-saving gene therapy treatments;

·       Provide the HHS Secretary with the authority to require drug manufacturers to provide pricing information on all direct-to-consumer advertising;

·       Codify a Trump Administration regulatory action that classifies insulin and other treatments for chronic conditions as preventative care so that high deductible health plans can cover costs before the patient reaches the deductible; and

·       Create a trade negotiator solely dedicated to putting American patients first in government trade negotiations related to medicines in order to prevent foreign free-loading off America’s investment.

 For a section-by-section of the bill, click HERE.

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