Image by Haley Lawrence via Unsplash
Image by Haley Lawrence via Unsplash

The House of Representatives continues its efforts to reign in surging drug costs, passing bipartisan legislation in late October that would lower out-of-pocket costs for consumers.

Among the package of bills the House passed was Rep. Elissa Slotkin’s (D-MI) Real-Time Benefits Act, which provides Medicare patients and doctors with real-time information about the cost of a prescription, whether there are generic alternatives, and which nearby pharmacies would have the lowest out-of-pocket cost.

Slotkin believes her legislation could help lower drug costs for seniors while also increasing competition and transparency to help bring drug costs down for all consumers.

Drug costs have risen so dramatically that three in 10 Americans have cut pills in half, skipped doses, or skipped filling a prescription altogether, according to a February 2019 report from the Kaiser Family Foundation.

“The bill started with a very simple request from seniors in my district — people want to know how much a prescription will cost before they pick it up at the drugstore and they deserve to know that it’s the best possible price that they can get,” Slotkin said in remarks on the House floor on Tuesday. “Imagine if every time you went to the doctor, both you and your physician could see the differences in the prices of drugs. This is the all-American competition we need when it comes to our prescription drugs.”