Senator Marshall and Colleagues Call for Senate Leadership to Act Immediately to Lower Drug Prices

Washington, D.C. – U.S. Senator Roger Marshall, M.D. (R-KS), alongside a group of bipartisan Senators, sent a letter to Senate Leadership urging immediate action on reforming pharmacy benefit managers (PBM) to reduce the cost of prescription drug prices. Senator Marshall is leading nearly a dozen PBM reform bills in the U.S. Senate, seven of which have passed out of the Health, Education, Labor, and Pensions (HELP) Committee and the Finance Committee.

 “Immediate action is needed to address these harmful practices by PBMs. Americans deserve and expect protection from inflated prescription drug costs, forced pharmacy closures, formulary manipulation, and barriers to their pharmacy of choice that result from harmful PBM tactics,” the Senators wrote. “We cannot sit idly by while patients suffer. We urge you to work as early as this month to enact specific PBM reforms that address these concerns and capitalize on the bipartisan effort and momentum in the House and Senate.”

Other Senators on the letter include James Lankford (R-OK), Jon Tester (R-MT), Chuck Grassley (R-IA), Sherrod Brown (D-OH), Shelley Moore-Capito (R-WV), Catherine Cortez Masto (D-NV), Markwayne Mullin (R-OK), Ben Ray Luján (D-NM), Joni Ernst (R-IA), and Peter Welch (D-VT). To view the letter click here

As the Ranking Member of the HELP Committee’s Subcommittee on Primary Care and Retirement Security, Senator Marshall worked with Committee leaders to introduce the PBM Reform Act (S. 1339), which gives employers the transparency they demand and also helps lower costs for employees and their families. During the markup, Senator Marshall secured additional amendments modeled after his bills:

  • PBM Disclosure of Direct and Indirect Compensation Act (S. 1543): Introduced alongside Senator Mike Braun (R-IN), the bill would reinforce the law requiring PBMs to disclose all direct and indirect compensation they receive to manage pharmacy benefits. 
  • Patient Right to Shop Act (S. 1374): Introduced alongside Senator Ed Markey (D-MA), Charles Grassley (R-IA), and Tim Kaine (D-VA), the bill would prohibit anti-consumer clauses that block patients from having meaningful access to their prescription drug benefits.
  • Safe Step Act (S. 652): Introduced alongside Senators Lisa Murkowski (R-AK), Jackie Rosen (D-NV), and Maggie Hassan (D-NH), this bill would ensure patients can safely and efficiently access the best treatment available to them by improving step therapy protocols.
  •  PBM Fiduciary Study Act (S. 3330): Introduced alongside Senator Braun, this bill would require the Department of Labor to report to Congress how to make PBMs put the needs of employers ahead of themselves.

In addition, the Finance Committee advanced the Modernizing and Ensuring PBM Accountability Act which included two of Senator Marshall’s bills that address industry middlemen abuse in Medicare and Medicaid.