Without Changes, STAR Act Won’t Provide Prescription Relief for Consumers
Statement of Peter Maybarduk, Director, Public Citizen’s Access to Medicines Program
Note: This morning, the U.S. House Committee on Ways & Means held a markup on H.R. 2113, the Prescription Drug Sunshine, Transparency, Accountability and Reporting Act (STAR Act). The proposed legislation is a package of transparency measures relating to prescription prices, rebates and other information. Public Citizen filed a statement for the record that is critical of the legislation and calls for the committee and Congress to advance other measures to provide relief to patients.
It’s not enough to nod in the direction of high medicine prices. Congress has a historic opportunity to make medicine affordable and will be measured by that standard. The STAR Act does not come close to meeting that standard.
As a whole, the STAR Act will not provide any meaningful relief to patients who – because of the unaffordability – of their medications are leaving prescriptions unfilled, cutting pills in half, self-rationing treatment, and suffering or dying as a result. Nor will it fix the price spikes that have become the industry norm. It does not give Medicare authority to negotiate lower prices. It doesn’t reform the core problem of Big Pharma’s monopoly power.
Congress can and must do better.