Rep. Jason Crow Co-Leads Legislation to Crack Down on Pharmaceutical Price Spikes
WATCH: Crow and Porter discuss the Freedom from Price Gouging Act
WASHINGTON – This week, Rep. Jason Crow (CO-06) helped introduced legislation that would protect patients from unnecessary price spikes. The Freedom from Price Gouging Act recovers taxpayer dollars from pharmaceutical companies when they try to hike their drug prices to increase their profits. The bill would mimic the drug pricing model that exists under Medicaid and apply it to Medicare by applying an inflationary clawback. The clawback mandates drug prices cannot increase faster than the rate of inflation without paying a fee to the government. Under Medicaid, the clawback has kept prescription drug prices affordable. Similar bipartisan legislation introduced in the Senate cleared a key committee hurdle with broad support. The Congressional Budget Office estimated that the Senate’s rebate policy would save taxpayers $10.7 billion over the next 10 years.
“Drug prices in this country continue to rise and hurt Colorado families and seniors. It’s time we stood up to Big Pharma and put our constituents first. This commonsense legislation will stop price gouging and help ensure all Coloradans get access to affordable health care," said Congressman Crow.
The legislation requires drug manufacturers to pay the government back when they increase their prices of drugs covered under the Medicare Part B program. Part B provides insurance coverage for drugs that are often administered in outpatient settings, including chemotherapy drugs. For example, over 2017 and 2018, the price of Rituxan, a drug used to treat non-Hodgkin lymphoma, rose17 percent—more than twice the rate of medical inflation—costing taxpayers more than $1.75 billion in 2017.
The legislation is supported by Families USA, National Committee to Preserve Social Security and Medicare, and the Alliance for Retired Americans.
Congressman Crow has made increasing access to affordable, high-quality healthcare a top priority. In his first ten months in Congress, Crow has toured multiple community health centers and district hospitals, hosted a roundtable with seniors focused on lowering the cost of prescription drugs, and is a co-sponsor of Medicare-X Choice Act which would allow consumers the option to buy into Medicare as a health insurance option.
You can watch Rep. Crow and Rep. Porter discuss the Freedom from Price Gouging Act here.