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  • Washington Highlights

    Senate Finance Committee Marks Up and Advances PBM Legislation

    Sinead Hunt, Legislative Analyst
    For Media Inquiries

    On July 26, the Senate Finance Committee held a markup of the Modernizing and Ensuring PBM Accountability Act, legislation intended to address misaligned incentives in the pharmaceutical supply chain and lower prescription drug costs for patients. The bill, which was reported out of committee by a 26-1 vote, includes provisions to bring additional transparency, accountability, and competition to the pharmacy benefit manager (PBM) industry.  

    The legislation included a modified version of the Drug Price Transparency in Medicaid Act of 2023 (H.R. 1613, S. 1038), which prohibits spread pricing in the Medicaid program. The House Energy and Commerce Committee recently passed a version of this bill as part of their May 24 markup of the Promoting Access to Treatments and Increasing Extremely Needed Transparency (PATIENT) Act of 2023 (H.R. 3561) [refer to Washington Highlights, May 26]. In advance of this markup, the AAMC joined the American Hospital Association, 340B Health, and other groups representing 340B hospitals in a joint letter expressing concerns with new reporting requirements for 340B-covered entities included in the bill, noting the additional administrative burden imposed on hospitals and the potential to compromise proprietary financial data. 

    During the markup, Sens. John Thune (R-S.D.) and Sherrod Brown (D-Ohio) offered and subsequently withdrew an amendment clarifying that the proposed requirements would allow covered entities to report, at their discretion, additional contextual information related to their 340B savings, such as how they use said savings to “provide uncompensated and undercompensated services to beneficiaries.” 

    Sen. Maggie Hassan (D-N.H.) also offered and withdrew an amendment directing the Medicare Payment Advisory Commission to submit a report to Congress on out-of-pocket costs paid by Medicare beneficiaries who receive drug administration services in off-campus outpatient facilities.