State Rep. Bronna Kahle, of Adrian, has introduced a bipartisan plan to improve prescription drug price transparency in Michigan.
Prescription drug prices have increased astronomically over the last few years.
“People should not have to ration their health care, or other aspects of their life, in order to afford essential medicine that saves or drastically improves their lives”, said Kahle.
The plan requires drug manufacturers to submit information about how their products are priced to the Michigan Department of Insurance and Financial Services. Kahle said this will provide a necessary level of consumer protection and help policymakers better understand the factors behind increasing prescription medication costs.
“I have been listening to many people across Lenawee County who have big concerns about the rising cost of prescription drugs. Making quality healthcare more affordable and more accessible is a priority,” Kahle said. “By holding everyone within the drug supply chain accountable, we can help protect consumers from inflated prices, making their prescription medications more affordable.”
Kahle also said many of Michigan’s older residents are on fixed incomes and cannot afford to purchase some of their prescriptions due solely to the increase in cost. While the plan doesn’t specifically place limitations on drug pricing, Kahle said it does provide clarity to a very complex and confusing section of our state’s health care industry.
Other bills in the package:
• Provide for the licensure and regulation of Pharmacy Benefit Managers (PBMs).
• Require insurers to count all drug rebates received for a drug towards the insured’s maximum out of pocket costs or plan deductible.
• Require hospitals to post the cost of all procedures done by the hospital on the hospital’s website.
• Clarify that a rebate shall only be applied to a drug if there is not a lower-cost generic available, or if the rebate is not made available to all eligible individuals regardless of how the drug is paid for by the consumer.
• Prohibit an insurer from requiring a patient to pay a higher co-pay than the cost of the dispensed drug and requires that a PBM shall not prohibit a pharmacy from disclosing the current selling price of a drug.
The legislation is expected to be referred to the House Health Policy for consideration.
A group of House Republican legislators today labeled the latest emergency order issued by the Michigan Department of Health and Human Services (DHHS) regarding indoor visitation in nursing homes as a step in the right direction, adding there is still more work to be done.
“The governor and the Legislature can and should work together – always – to protect lives and livelihoods during this pandemic,” said Kahle, of Adrian. “These measures approved by the House will keep people safer, protect our most vulnerable, and better connect every citizen with their elected leaders at every level of state and local government. It’s strong action toward the continued safe, sensible reopening of Lenawee County and the entire state.”