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Congresswoman Lori Trahan Votes in Favor of Ambitious Proposal to Lower the Cost of Prescription Drugs

WASHINGTON, DC – Today, Congresswoman Lori Trahan (D-MA-03), a Member of the Education and Labor Committee, voted in favor of H.R. 3, the Elijah E. Cummings Lower Drugs Costs Now Act. This legislation is an ambitious proposal to cut the cost of prescription drugs for all Americans. The final bill contained an amendment from Congresswoman Trahan to provide transparency and accountability regarding the Administration’s implementation of the “Fair Price Negotiation Program” – a critical portion of the bill.

“Every day, Americans are forced to choose between filling a prescription that could save or improve their lives and paying the heating bill or buying groceries. Price gouging is so bad that 1 in 3 Americans report skipping doses due to cost, and millions more are splitting their pills to stretch them out. Whenever I go home, I hear from constituents who are suffering in a system where seniors and patients routinely pay far more for the same drugs as in other countries,” said Congresswoman Trahan. “My dad has MS and I see firsthand the sacrifices that he and my mom make to pay for his treatment and care. It is time for Congress to step up and lower drug prices for hardworking families. I am proud to support this bill.”

During the Education and Labor Committee markup of H.R. 3, Congresswoman Trahan introduced, and the committee adopted by a voice vote, an amendment. The Trahan Amendment created a statutory requirement for a study to be conducted by the Government Accountability Office (GAO) on the Administration’s implementation of the “Fair Price Negotiation Program.” The Fair Price Negotiation Program is a central tenet of H.R. 3 that grants the Secretary of Health and Human Services the authority and tools necessary to meaningfully lower drug prices.

The GAO will have access to all necessary data to conduct its review and report to Congress by the end of 2025. This will ensure that there is no unfair manipulation or gaming of the Fair Price Negotiation Program by present as well as future Administrations.

Specifically, H.R. 3 will:

  • Empower the Secretary of Health and Human Services to negotiate the price of up to 250 of the most expensive drugs every year, including insulin, and set a maximum price with an international price index. These negotiated prices will apply to both Medicare and private insurance.
  • Cap out-of-pocket prescription drug costs for Medicare beneficiaries at $2,000 a year.
  • Require drug companies to pay Medicare rebates when the price of their drug raises faster than inflation.
  • Reinvest savings to expand Medicare benefits to include dental, vision, and hearing for the first time and increase the number of seniors who qualify for additional financial support.
  • Invest in reducing maternal mortality by doubling funding for the Maternal, Infant, and Early Childhood Home Visiting program (MIECHV).
  • Accelerate medical research by investing an additional $10 billion in the National Institutes of Health (NIH).
  • Provide $10 billion to directly fund efforts to combat the opioid crisis and $10 billion to fund Community Health Centers across the United States.