Crenshaw Rejects Democrats’ Drug Pricing Scheme, Backs Bipartisan Alternative

WASHINGTON, DC – Congressman Dan Crenshaw released the below statement after voting against H.R. 3, Democrats’ partisan drug pricing legislation that would result in fewer cures. As an original cosponsor of H.R. 19, the Lower Costs, More Cures Act, Crenshaw supports a bipartisan solution that would lower the cost of specialty drugs while ensuring innovation continues to thrive, and bad actors are removed from the system.

“As Members of Congress, our job is to create a system that incentivizes innovation, not tax it up to 95% like H.R. 3 would. Finding life-saving treatments and cures cannot happen without the dedicated people who discover them. Through H.R. 3, the American government is telling them we do not value their dedication and success,” said Crenshaw. “Instead, we need to embrace innovators’ creativity and commitment to finding new cures. Our focus should be helping the over 150 million Americans with incurable and chronic diseases, not punishing the very people who are trying to treat and develop cures for them. H.R. 19 does just that by encouraging innovation, deterring bad actors, capping seniors’ out of pocket costs, increasing transparency, eliminating subsidies that cover drug costs for other countries, and cutting the costs of administering drugs. This is the right way to lower drug prices and promote a system that allows innovation to thrive.”

Crenshaw joined Energy and Commerce Committee Ranking Member Greg Walden (OR) in a video series addressing the many problems with H.R. 3. The series can be found here.

Information on H.R. 19

  • Encourages innovation of groundbreaking new cures, promotes lower-cost options for patients, and deters drug companies from gaming the system.

o   Prevents drug manufacturers from withholding samples of their drugs in order to delay patients’ access to generic competition.

o   Stops “pay for delay” agreements in which the brand-name drug manufacturer pays the generic manufacturer to keep a generic equivalent off the market.

o   Ends gaming of the patent system, including preventing drug manufacturers from receiving additional patent exclusivity periods for new drugs; clarifying that in order to get new exclusivities, all commercially undeveloped drugs must prove clinical superiority to a previous version of the drug already on the market; and limiting the potential for drug manufacturers to exploit loopholes in patent laws that allow them to maximize their monopoly over bestseller drugs.

o   Allows FDA authority to approve multiple generic applications of the same drug, resulting in more generic competition, and speeding cures to market.

o   Increases transparency into patent listings so generic and biosimilar manufacturers have the information needed in order to enter the market.

o   Provides new authorities to FDA to create a more streamlined approach to the regulation of over-the-counter products, increasing the availability of these products, which will lower costs for consumers.

  • Places a cap on seniors’ out-of-pocket drug costs and allows seniors to manage their annual out-of-pocket spending.

o   Creates a new $3,100 per year out-of-pocket maximum on prescription drugs costs for Medicare beneficiaries in Part D.

o   Puts in place a monthly cap for Medicare beneficiaries who have very expensive drug costs by “smoothing” – or spreading out – the amount a patient owes throughout the year, which helps seniors with fixed incomes better manage their out-of-pocket prescription drug costs.

  • Makes insulin more affordable.

o   Requires insurance companies to cap the cost of insulin for seniors in Medicare Part D at $50 a month after they’ve paid their deductible.

  • Increases transparency and removes uncertainty at the pharmacy counter.

o   Requires insurance companies to make information about drug costs available in the doctor’s office before a prescription is written, so patients know the cost and so doctors can prescribe the medicine that is best and the cheapest for them before heading to the pharmacy.

o   Expands online cost estimate tools, so patients and seniors can shop around and better know how much they’ll have to pay for their treatment before they set their appointment.

  • Cuts the cost of drug administration, including cancer treatment, for Medicare beneficiaries by as much as half.

o   Under Medicare, private oncology practices are paid about $144 for the most common chemotherapy treatment, but the payment rate for the same exact service by a hospital-owned physician practice is double that at $288. Medicare beneficiaries should not have to pay double for their cancer treatment simply because of where they get treatment.

o   By paying for quality, not the site of service, oncology treatment can be delivered at half the cost to cancer patients.

  • Stops subsidizing other developed countries’ health care through stronger trade agreements.

o   Establishes a new negotiator at the United States Trade Representative to advocate for the American consumer and make sure other countries aren’t treating our innovators unfairly.