Hoeven Joins Bipartisan Group in Supporting Greater Drug Price Transparency & Reduced Prescription Costs for Medicare Recipients

WASHINGTON – Senator John Hoeven this week joined a bipartisan group of senators in supporting a proposal by the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) to help reduce prescription drug costs for Medicare recipients and increase the transparency and accuracy of drug prices under Medicare Part D. The full text of the letter to CMS Administrator Seema Verma, which was led by Senators Shelley Moore Capito (R-W.Va.) and Jon Tester (D-Mont.), can be found here.

“Our community pharmacies provide a vital service to seniors across our state,” Hoeven said. “Margins are often thin for small pharmacies, especially in rural areas. Retroactive fees under Part D create uncertainty, making it difficult for pharmacies to serve their customers and increasing prescription costs for beneficiaries, who are often on a limited income. That’s why we support the proposal from CMS to increase transparency in drug prices, which will help lower out of pocket costs for seniors.”

Specifically, the CMS proposal seeks to address the impacts of drug price concessions under Part D. Plan sponsors and pharmacy benefit managers can currently charge fees to pharmacies to claw back price concessions as much as six months after the prescriptions have been filled. This results in artificially-inflated drug prices and uncertainty for community pharmacies. The CMS proposal would require that the concessions be reflected in the negotiated price at the point of sale, providing certainty for pharmacies and lowering costs for seniors.