July 12,2023

Wyden, Crapo Announce Finance Markup of Pharmacy Benefit Manager Proposals

July 26th Committee Vote Will Mark Key Step Toward PBM Accountability, Lower Costs for Taxpayers and Patients

Washington, D.C. – Senate Finance Committee Chair Ron Wyden (D-Ore.) and Ranking Member Mike Crapo (R-Idaho) today announced that the committee will mark up legislative proposals to modernize and enhance federal prescription drug programs on Wednesday, July 26th at 2 p.m. The committee package will focus on addressing pharmacy benefit manager practices that have grown increasingly complex and opaque in recent years at the expense of patients and taxpayers.

“This month the Finance Committee will take a critical step to hold drug pricing middlemen accountable and lower costs for Americans at the pharmacy counter,” Wyden said. “For too long, pharmacy benefit managers have operated without accountability or scrutiny, and the results have been higher drug prices for taxpayers and Americans picking up their prescriptions at the pharmacy counter. Our legislation will build on the legislative framework released this spring to enact commonsense reforms and transparency so drug middlemen work for patients, not the other way around.

“Ahead of the markup, as is customary in the Finance Committee, members will be able to offer amendments, and Ranking Member Crapo and I are committed to working with members to incorporate those ideas into a modified Chairman’s Mark,” Wyden continued. “Any proposals that are not able to be included in the Mark reported by the committee will continue to be worked on with the goal of incorporating those policies ahead of any action on the Senate floor. I thank Ranking Member Crapo for being a diligent and committed partner in this effort and I look forward to the committee taking bipartisan action to help Americans lower their health costs.” 

“Whether at the pharmacy counter, the doctor’s office or the hospital, some of the most life-saving medications remain out of reach for far too many working families and seniors,” Crapo said.  “The bipartisan proposals we are considering will enhance pharmacy benefit manager accountability, mitigate misaligned incentives that drive preferences for higher-priced medicines, prevent costly spread pricing arrangements in state Medicaid programs, improve pharmacy access, and increase oversight of the prescription drug supply chain. I look forward to continuing our work on this important issue.”

In keeping with Finance Committee rules, the Chairman’s Mark will be released 48 hours in advance of the markup. In April, Wyden and Crapo released a legislative framework identifying challenges facing federal prescription drug programs related to pharmacy benefit managers. In March, the Finance Committee held a hearing to examine the impact of pharmacy benefit manager practices on patients and taxpayers.