Sunday, 09 May 2021

Thompson votes in favor of bipartisan drug pricing transparency legislation

WASHINGTON, DC – On Tuesday Rep. Mike Thompson (CA-05), who serves on the House Ways and Means Subcommittee on Health, voted to advance out of committee H.R. 2113, the Prescription Drug Sunshine, Transparency, Accountability and Reporting (STAR) Act.

This bipartisan legislation is a combination of bills intended to promote and expand transparency in drug pricing, including requirements that manufacturers justify large, rapid price increases.

“For far too long, people in our district and across our nation have faced spiking costs for prescription drugs. The system is so opaque that patients don’t even know where their money is going,” Thompson said. “Today I voted to advance bipartisan legislation to help fix this issue and give patients the transparency they deserve. We have seen that when hospital prices are more transparent, those entities are held more accountable for their costs and this legislation will do the same with drug prices. I will continue fighting to lower the costs of prescription drugs and ensure health care is more affordable and more accessible for everyone.”

The STAR Act combines language from three pieces of drug pricing legislation, including:

– Requiring drug manufacturers to make public and justify large spikes in the prices of their products, and justify costly initial prices of newly-launched drugs;
– Requiring manufacturers to disclose the aggregate value and quantity of free samples provided to physicians;
– Requiring pharmacy benefit managers to publicly and more broadly report the rebates and other discounts they provide to health plans or providers;
– Requiring all drug manufacturers to submit average sales price data for physician-administered drugs under Part B of Medicare; and
– Requiring the HHS Secretary to do a report analyzing drug use, costs, spending, and patient health outcomes.

Thompson represents California’s Fifth Congressional District, which includes all or part of Contra Costa, Lake, Napa, Solano and Sonoma counties. He is a senior member of the House Committee on Ways and Means where he chairs the Subcommittee on Tax Policy. Rep. Thompson is Chairman of the House Gun Violence Prevention Task Force. He is also co-chair of the bipartisan, bicameral Congressional Wine Caucus and a member of the fiscally-conservative Blue Dog Coalition.

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