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MACPAC calls for Congress to eliminate the drug rebate cap

April 12, 2019 / Tina Reed

In a bid to help states address growing drug prices, Congress should eliminate the cap on drug rebates paid to state Medicaid programs, the Medicaid and CHIP Payment and Access Commission (MACPAC) recommended during its meeting Thursday. The savings from higher rebates would allow states to provide the same level of drug coverage at lower costs and continue to exert downward pressure on price increases, they said. If enacted, the change could save the federal government between $15 billion and $20 billion over 10 years, the Congressional Budget Office (CBO) estimated. MACPAC, which is the nonpartisan committee that advises Congress on Medicaid, also recommended Congress allow states to restrict coverage of new drugs or new drug formulations for up to 180 days after they have been approved by the Food and Drug Administration.