Contact: Debra Kolste
Madison, Wisconsin – Representative Deb Kolste (D-Janesville) introduced a package of bills focused on reforming the pharmaceutical industry, including legislation to increase transparency in how prescription drug manufacturers set their prices.
LRB 3681 would require drug manufacturers of name brand and generic prescription drugs to notify the state prior to price increases of more than 25%. They would also be required to include a justification for the price hike and detail the amount of rebates provided to Wisconsin residents.
“Excessive and unwarranted price increases from prescription drug companies are commonplace,” said Rep. Kolste. They are generally designed to increase bottom lines and will continue to occur until elected officials decide to act.”
Two additional bills would prevent insurance companies from removing prescription drugs from their formularies while a contract with a consumer is in place (LRB 3119) and require pharmacy benefit managers to register with the state’s Office of Commissioner of Insurance before operating in Wisconsin (LRB 3682).
“We have consistently seen insurers and their pharmacy benefit managers perform a bait and switch on consumers where one day your medications are covered and the next day, you’re out of luck,” said Kolste. “This legislation will protect consumers and keep medication decisions where they should be – between doctors and their patients.’’
Wisconsinites need relief from rising prescription drug costs and shining a light on the source is the first step towards lowering prices.
A poll conducted earlier this year by the Kaiser Family Foundation found that 86% of people favor requiring drug companies to publicly release information on how prices are set. Additionally, according to respondents to a poll from Harvard’s T.H. Chan School of Public Health conducted last month, lowering prescription drug prices should be Congress’ number one priority for the remainder of the year.