Horn Seeking to Address Prescription Drug Prices in ‘Smart and Effective’ Ways
WASHINGTON – Rep. Kendra Horn believes it should come as no surprise to anyone that reining in runaway prescription drug prices has been a top priority of members of the 116th Congress.
“After all, they are something that impacts just about everyone at some point in their lives,” the freshman congresswoman said.
“We’ve got to keep working on this issue, and thankfully, a lot of members have been advancing their own efforts to address what I call ‘prescription drug fraud,'” she said.
“What we’re talking about is how to ensure that everyone in our community has access to affordable quality healthcare and to achieve that, we have to get to the root causes of the rising, astronomical cost of healthcare if we’re going to make lasting change.”
One issue of particular concern to Horn is the high cost of insulin, which she says impacts about 350,000 Oklahomans.
The price of insulin has risen roughly 200% over the past decade, according to the American Diabetes Association, the Health Care Cost Institute, and others, and this is “way out of line with the income people are bringing home,” the congresswoman said.
In an effort to address this, Horn authored H.R. 4649, The Capping Out-of-Pockets Costs for Seniors Act, which would create an out-of-pocket prescription drug cap at $2,000, for approximately 46 million patients who have Medicare Part D.
Seniors across the country can pay up to $5,100 on their medications, some of which they need daily. The cap will save them about $3,100, Horn said.
“Again, it’s not the answer to everything, but it is another of those steps in the right direction.”
Horn stressed that various approaches are needed to solve the complex puzzle.
“I think it is always important to be mindful of that,” she said. “It’s almost too easy for us to say, ‘Let’s just put a cap on prices and that will solve everything.’
“I think we also need to look at a wide range of factors contributing to the costs of medications — and it’s not just the pharmaceutical companies. There are middlemen, pharmacy benefits managers and the like, and I think we need to look at where their negotiated savings are going.
“If they’re not going all the way to consumers, then that’s something we’re definitely going to have to address,” she said.
Because she believes “there are a lot of different people sticking their hands in the honey jar,” Horn co-sponsored H.R.1034 – Phair Pricing Act of 2019.
The legislation, which was reintroduced earlier this year by Rep. Doug Collins, R-Ga., aims to lower the cost of prescription medication by increasing transparency in the drug pricing process.
“We’re not putting this all on pharmaceutical companies, which would be an ineffective way of dealing with drug prices,” she said. “We recognize that some of the discounts negotiated by those standing between the pharmaceutical companies and the local pharmacies are not actually reaching consumers — and they’re paying the price, literally.”
Horn said when she talks to constituents in her district about these issues, the emotion she most often encounters is frustration.
“It’s really difficult for the people who need these life-saving medications to understand why they can’t afford them, even with Medicare Part D,” Horn stated. “That’s why it’s important for all of us in Congress to do our best to understand what the root causes of excessive prescription drug prices are and address them in smart and effective ways, not just in ways that sound good in a sound bite.”
In The News
CLEVELAND, Ohio — A landmark jury verdict Tuesday could make major pharmacy chains like CVS, Walgreens and Walmart liable for... Read More
CLEVELAND, Ohio — A landmark jury verdict Tuesday could make major pharmacy chains like CVS, Walgreens and Walmart liable for encouraging the opioid epidemic that kills thousands of Americans each year. The verdict in federal court in Ohio is the first to uphold a legal theory... Read More
SEATTLE — Testimony this week during a civil trial in Seattle could explain why opioid deaths set a record of... Read More
SEATTLE — Testimony this week during a civil trial in Seattle could explain why opioid deaths set a record of more than 100,000 in a year by last April. The class action lawsuit seeks $95 billion in damages against pharmaceutical companies that distribute the powerful painkillers.... Read More
WASHINGTON — Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer, D-N.Y., announced Tuesday that Democrats have reached a deal on legislation to lower... Read More
WASHINGTON — Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer, D-N.Y., announced Tuesday that Democrats have reached a deal on legislation to lower prescription drug prices. "It's not everything we all wanted. Many of us would have wanted to go much further, but it's a big step in helping... Read More
WASHINGTON (AP) — Drugmaker Merck said Friday that its experimental COVID-19 pill reduced hospitalizations and deaths by half in people... Read More
WASHINGTON (AP) — Drugmaker Merck said Friday that its experimental COVID-19 pill reduced hospitalizations and deaths by half in people recently infected with the coronavirus and that it would soon ask health officials in the U.S. and around the world to authorize its use. If cleared,... Read More
A group of moderate Democrats led by Rep. Scott Peters sought on Tuesday to change the House debate on how... Read More
A group of moderate Democrats led by Rep. Scott Peters sought on Tuesday to change the House debate on how prescription drug prices are set in the U.S., arguing sweeping proposals put forward by progressives could threaten passage of the $3.5 trillion budget bill. The push... Read More
WASHINGTON -- The Biden administration on Thursday offered the first detailed look at actions the White House may take in... Read More
WASHINGTON -- The Biden administration on Thursday offered the first detailed look at actions the White House may take in conjunction with congressional action to lower prescription drug prices. The 29-page plan, released through the Department of Health and Human Services, backs the intention of many... Read More