The same week that Congress held two hearings on drug prices, two Senators began drafting legislation to address high drug costs.
Sens. Bill Cassidy (R-LA) and Mark Warner (D-VA) are drafting a bill to promote value-based arrangements for insurers, hospitals, and clinics by amending parts of the Social Security Act.
Value-based models typically peg the price of a drug based on its effectiveness, but, in a statement, the Senators said current legislation “unintentionally restricts” these arrangements. The goal of the legislation, and value-based arrangements, would be to lower the cost of drugs and encourage drugmakers to develop products that effectively treat patients.
The amendment would allow these agreements based on the future performance of a drug, a product that achieves pre-identified clinical metrics, and agreements that implement better delivery and quality of patient care. It would also promote medication-adherence programs and federal or state value-based agreements.
One such agreement is already in place. Louisiana, the state Cassidy represents, implemented a Netflix-like subscription deal this month to pay a flat fee for unlimited access to a drug. The state is seeking bids for the arrangement starting with costly hepatitis C drugs.
The senators are requesting feedback on the proposed bill through February 19 before bringing the bill to the Senate floor.