The House Energy and Commerce Committee last night approved a revised version of the Lower Prescription Drug Costs Now Act (H.R. 3) — legislation that would make a series of changes to the Medicare program in an effort to lower the price of prescription drugs. During the markup, which lasted nearly eight hours, the committee adopted only one amendment, which would increase the Medicare Part B reimbursement for biosimilars for five years.
 
The legislation would increase the number of single-source drugs from 25 to 35 that the Department of Health and Human Services would be required to negotiate directly with drug manufacturers. The bill, which was introduced last month, would, among other provisions, apply new inflationary rebates to Medicare Part B and Part D drugs that have had price increases above the rate of inflation since 2016; cap the Medicare Part D annual out-of-pocket limit at $2,000 and convert the current coverage gap into a benefit-wide responsibility; and realign the Medicare Part D catastrophic phase cost-sharing responsibilities.
 
The House Education and Labor Committee approved its version of the bill yesterday. The House Ways and Means Committee is expected to mark up the bill next week, and the full House of Representatives will likely consider the bill in the coming weeks.

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