(PA) Casey Introduces Two Bills to Make Prescription Drugs More Affordable
Bills Would Increase Transparency of Drug Costs and Help People with Medicare Pay for Prescriptions
Washington, DC – Today, U.S. Senator Bob Casey (D-PA), Ranking Member of the U.S. Senate Special Committee on Aging, held the second hearing in a series on ways to lower prescription drug prices. During the hearing entitled, “The Complex Web of Prescription Drug Prices, Part II: Untangling the Web and Paths Forward,” the Aging Committee heard testimony from subject matter experts and examined policy solutions, including two bills from Sen. Casey, to make prescription drugs more affordable. Sen. Casey also underscored his support for federal policies to allow the safe importation of prescription drugs and allow Medicare to directly negotiate drug prices.
“Yesterday, we heard stories from Americans throughout the country who are struggling to afford life-sustaining medications. No one should have to skip doses or go into debt because of their prescriptions,” said Senator Casey. “Congress must pass common sense legislation to reduce prescription drug price. That’s why I am introducing the bipartisan Prescription Drug Pricing Dashboard Act and the Medicare Extra Rx HELP Act to help give Americans financial relief.”
Prescription Drug Pricing Dashboard Act
The Drug Spending Dashboards at the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) are interactive, web-based tools that provide cost and spending information for drugs in the Medicare Part B and D programs as well as Medicaid. The bipartisan Prescription Drug Pricing Dashboard Act, introduced by Sens. Casey and Susan Collins (R-Maine), would guarantee information about drug costs are posted annually. By knowing how much Medicare and Medicaid spend on prescription drugs it will be easier to spot trends, identify problems and find solutions.
Medicare Extra Rx HELP Act
The Medicare Extra Rx HELP Act enhances an existing program to help seniors and people with disabilities to afford their prescriptions. Sen. Casey’s bill would help more people qualify for help affording prescription drug premiums and out-of-pocket costs. The bill is supported by more than 15 national organizations, including Alliance for Retired Americans, Autism Society, Epilepsy Foundation, National Council on Aging and more.
Yesterday’s hearing entitled, “The Complex Web of Prescription Drug Prices, Part I: Patients Struggling with Rising Costs,” focused on how patients deal with rising costs as they struggle to afford life-sustaining and life-saving medications. Sen. Casey invited Barbara Cisek, of Allegheny County, to testify about her experience living with multiple chronic conditions and how she deals with the high cost of prescription drugs on a fixed income.