February 28,2019

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Wyden: Pharma Must Lower List Prices Under Proposed Changes

Ranking Finance Committee Democrat Calls on Pharma to Affirm They Will Support Federal Law Mandating Lower List Price if Rebate Changes Go Into Effect

Washington, D.C. – Senate Finance Committee Ranking Member Ron Wyden, D-Ore., today called on the major pharmaceutical manufacturers that testified before the committee earlier this week to pledge their support for federal legislation that would lower list prices if middlemen rebates were significantly diminished.

“All the happy talk from drug executives will not amount to much if the list price of prescriptions do not start to come down,” Wyden said. “Big Pharma is eager to point the finger at the middlemen, and now is their chance to follow through on their promises to be a part of the solution. Changing how pharmacy benefit managers do business is a key part of the drug pricing challenge, but it can’t result in a windfall for Big Pharma.” 

At the hearing, the witness panel frequently argued that manufacturers raise list prices in response to the rebates and discounts that pharmacy benefit managers (PBMs) negotiate between drug makers and insurance companies in exchange for coverage of prescription drugs. Wyden and others pressed the drug executives to pledge to lower high list prices if the volume of rebates were significantly reduced. Wyden has previously said that changes to the rebate system, which the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) has recently proposed, must be accompanied by a clear way to ensure drug makers lower their prices by an amount equal to the eliminated rebate.

The full question, which the senator has asked all seven companies to respond to as a part of the committee’s written follow-up to the hearing, may be found here.