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Letter to the Hon Alex Azar, Secretary of the Department of Health and Human Services - Rep. Meadows Sends Letter to Secretary Azar Urging Adoption of Medicare Part D Modernization Plan


By: Liz Cheney, Carol Miller, Alex Mooney, Mike Gallagher, Sean Duffy, Glenn Grothman, Jim Sensenbrenner, Jr., Jaime Herrera Beutler, Morgan Griffith, Ben Cline, Denver Riggleman III, Rob Wittman, Brian Babin, John Carter, Roger Williams, Jodey Arrington, Mike Conaway, Ron Wright, Lance Gooden, John Ratcliffe, Van Taylor, Louie Gohmert, Scott DesJarlais, Tim Burchett, Phil Roe, Dusty Johnson, Ralph Norman, Jr., William Timmons, Jeff Duncan, Joe Wilson, Sr., GT Thompson, Jr., Guy Reschenthaler, John Joyce, Lloyd Smucker, Scott Perry, Dan Meuser, Kevin Hern, Anthony Gonzalez, Troy Balderson, Steve Chabot, John Katko, Max Rose, Lee Zeldin, Donald Bacon, Jeff Fortenberry, Kelly Armstrong, Ted Budd, Patrick McHenry, Mark Walker, Virginia Foxx, Greg Gianforte, Steven Palazzo, Michael Guest, Bennie Thompson, Trent Kelly, Vicky Hartzler, Jim Hagedorn, John Moolenaar, Bill Huizenga, Jack Bergman, Andy Harris, Ralph Abraham, Mike Johnson, Clay Higgins, James Comer, Jr., Steven Watkins, Jr., Roger Marshall, Larry Bucshon, Greg Pence, Susan Brooks, Jim Banks, John Shimkus, Russ Fulcher, Steve King, Tom Graves, Jr., Rick Allen, Barry Loudermilk, Jody Hice, Doug Collins, Austin Scott, Drew Ferguson, Buddy Carter, Francis Rooney, Greg Steube, Ross Spano, Daniel Webster, Michael Waltz, John Rutherford, Ted Yoho, Neal Dunn, Matt Gaetz, Doug Lamborn, Ken Buck, Duncan Hunter, Ken Calvert, Doug LaMalfa, Paul Gosar, Bruce Westerman, Steve Womack, French Hill, Robert Aderholt, Mike Rogers, Martha Roby, Bradley Byrne, Mark Meadows
Date: June 27, 2019

This week, Rep. Mark Meadows (R-NC) lead a letter with more than 100 co-signers to Health and Human Services (HHS) Secretary Alex Azar urging him to finalize the agency's proposal to modernize the Medicare Part D program, creating a more competitive marketplace to lower prescription drug prices for patients.

Many Americans are struggling with increasing out-of-pocket expenses for lifesaving prescription drugs, in part because discounts negotiated by middlemen do not pass those savings on to beneficiaries in Medicare Part D plans and keep them instead. Because of this practice, patients pay a higher price when they fill their prescriptions at the pharmacy counter, instead of benefiting from the substantial savings provided by drug manufacturers to Part D Medicare plans negotiated by the middlemen. As such, patients access to lifesaving prescription drugs decreases as the cost of prescription drugs continues to rise. This system lacks transparency and prices consumers out of the market, and it must be changed.

The Medicare Part D modernization plan proposed by the Trump Administration would be a strong step toward addressing this problem, significantly lowering patients' out-of-pocket expenses and promoting a more competitive marketplace for prescription drugs. It would allow patients to take advantage of discounted drug prices at the point-of-sale at the pharmacy counter, rather than having to foot the bill for an artificially high cost. The proposed reform takes the benefits of competition and negotiating directly to Americans and no longer forces them to pay the bill for market distortions on prescription drugs.

Ensuring Medicare Part D beneficiaries can take advantage of pharmaceutical manufacturer price discounts when they fill their prescriptions at the point-of-sale will be a major win for patients, while also preserving every market tool Medicare drug plans need to negotiate aggressively with pharmaceutical manufacturers.

Rep. Meadows' letter is signed by 106 additional members of Congress.

Meadows released the following statement on the letter:

"With the rapid increase in prescription drug spending, it is critical that we take meaningful steps to lower out-of-pocket costs of prescription drugs and improve access for patients," Meadows said. "Allowing patients to take advantage of an increase in competition and choice in the marketplace, as the administration's proposal does, will be an effective path forward for achieving those goals. Modernizing the Medicare Part D program will take the benefits of competition directly to the consumer. It will allow patients to see a negotiated cost of prescription drugs rather than a fixed price, not reflecting rebates and discounts under the Part D program.

President Trump and Secretary Azar have shown tremendous commitment and leadership toward lowering the cost of prescription drugs, and finalizing their proposal will go a long way in seeing that mission through."