With an estimated quarter of Americans struggling to afford rising prescription drug costs, U.S. Sen. Elizabeth Warren and other Democrats announced legislation Wednesday that seeks to place a monthly cap on out-of-pocket payments.
The bill, known as the “Capping Prescription Costs Act of 2018,” would limit copayment amounts for prescription drugs to $250 per month for individuals and $500 per month for families. The limit would apply to both group health plans and individual market plans.
Warren, who introduced the bill with U.S. Sens. Bill Nelson, D-Florida; Ron Wyden, D-Oregon; Patty Murray, D-Washington; and U.S. Rep. Jacky Rosen, D-Nevada, offered that it looks to protect individuals and families facing high prescription drug costs and ensure they can access necessary medications.
“With prescription drug prices soaring over the past decade, it is time we took real action to protect families from out-of-pocket costs,” she said in a statement. “I’m proud to partner with my colleagues on a bill to tackle this piece of the drug pricing problem.”
Sponsors argued that Americans with life-threatening or chronic conditions requiring high-cost specialty drugs, like cancer and multiple sclerosis, can face thousands of dollars in monthly out-of-pocket costs.
Recent government estimates, they added, predict that prescription drug spending will increase faster than many other categories of major health expenditures due, in part, to increases in drug prices.