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Drug Pricing Legislation Moves Through Senate HELP Committee 

June 27, 2019

The U.S. Senate Health, Education, Labor and Pensions Committee voted to pass the Lower Health Care Costs Act on June 26, 2019. The Lower Health Care Costs Act, S. 1895, includes important Society-supported policy priorities including: 
 
The CREATES Act to prohibit brand pharmaceutical manufacturers from using safety programs/restricted access programs as a way to prevent generic or biosimilar manufacturers from purchasing samples to understand how the medication works (and create a generic, lower-cost product).
 
The FAIR Drug Pricing Act introduced by Senator Tammy Baldwin. The legislation would require drug manufacturers to disclose and provide more information about planned drug price increases, including research and development costs. It was not included in the initial legislation, but Sen. Baldwin brought it up for a vote. It passed by a vote of 16-7 and was included in the larger bill. 
 
There are also provisions in the legislation to protect individuals from surprise medical bills in emergency and non-emergency situations. 
 
The Society looks forward to the bill advancing to the full Senate. Click here to read Chairman Lamar Alexander’s (R-TN) response to the votes. Click here to learn more about the Society’s support for policies increasing access to MS medication. 

About Multiple Sclerosis

Multiple sclerosis is an unpredictable, often disabling disease of the central nervous system. There is currently no cure for MS. Symptoms vary from person to person and range from numbness and tingling, to mobility challenges, blindness and paralysis. An estimated 1 million people live with MS in the United States. Most people are diagnosed between the ages of 20 and 50, and it affects women three times more than men.

About the National Multiple Sclerosis Society

The National MS Society, founded in 1946, funds cutting-edge research, drives change through advocacy, and provides programs and services to help people affected by MS live their best lives. Connect to learn more and get involved: nationalMSsociety.org, Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, YouTube or 1-800-344-4867.

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