Senator Says Enacting Bill to Reduce Out-of-Pocket Cost Should be Congressional Priority

In announcing her support for prescription drug reforms, U.S. Senator Cindy Hyde-Smith (R-Miss.) today said Congress should prioritize enacting legislation to address the ever-growing cost burdens on Americans.

Hyde-Smith is an original cosponsor of the Prescriptions Drug Pricing Reduction Act (S.4199), updated bipartisan legislation authored by Senate Finance Committee Chairman Chuck Grassley (R-Iowa).  The measure builds on original language negotiated with Senator Ron Wyden (D-Ore.) until Democratic leadership withdrew from bipartisan talks on the issue.

“The troubles caused by skyrocketing drug prices are a never ending source of worry and hardship for Mississippians and people across the country.  The threat of the coronavirus pandemic has only increased that concern among my constituents,” said Hyde-Smith, who serves on the Senate Labor, Health and Human Services, and Education Appropriations Subcommittee.

“Chairman Grassley’s comprehensive bill to bring affordability and fairness to the prescription drug market should be an immediate priority for us, as leaders, if we’re serious about helping patients afford the drugs they need,” she said.

S.4199 represents a comprehensive approach toward lowing prescription drug prices in the Medicare and Medicaid programs, improving transparency related to pharmaceutical prices and transactions, lowering patients’ out-of-pocket costs, and ensuring greater accountability to taxpayers.

The Prescription Drug Pricing Reduction Act of 2020 would save taxpayers $95 billion, reduce out-of-pocket spending by $72 billion, and reduce premiums by $1 billion, according to the Congressional Budget Office.

A broad spectrum of organizations, from the senior group AARP to the libertarian Cato Institute, have endorsed the Grassley-Wyden legislation.  Other endorsements include America’s Health Insurance Plans, Association for Accessible Medicine, Campaign for Sustainable Rx Pricing, and Patients for Affordable Drugs Now.

Additional original S.4199 cosponsors include Mike Braun (R-Ind.), Bill Cassidy, M.D. (R-La.), Susan Collins (R-Maine), Steve Daines (R-Mont.), Joni Ernst (R-Iowa), Martha McSally (R-Ariz.), Lisa Murkowski (R-Alaska), and Rob Portman (R-Ohio).

The text of S.4199 is available here and a section-by-section review is available here.

Press Release

7/7/2020