Senate HELP Panel’s Confounded Markup Points To Challenges Ahead For Chairman Sanders
Session on PBM and generic legislation brought to a halt by Republican objections to amendments targeting FDA disclosure of inactive ingredient concentrations in brands, method-of-use patents, and using REMS to extend patent protection.
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In a win for the branded industry, just one of the three amendments that caused the initial markup of the Senate Health Committee’s drug pricing legislation to be postponed got included in the package advanced to the floor.
Delinking pharmacy benefits managers’ compensation from the prices of drugs received bipartisan rhetorical support at a HELP markup, but the panel only cleared less drastic PBM reforms along with generic and orphan-drug focused policies. Approved amendments tackled step therapy, pharma transparency and PBM gag clauses, among other topics.
Pharma was unable to punt all the drug pricing blame to pharmacy benefits managers at the 10 May Senate HELP hearing on affordable insulin, though the PBM-focused fury was more bipartisan.