State Rep. Doug Wozniak, of Shelby Township, has introduced a bipartisan plan to improve prescription drug price transparency in Michigan.
The plan requires drug manufacturers to submit information about how their products are priced to the Michigan Department of Insurance and Financial Services. Wozniak said this will provide a necessary level of consumer protection and help policymakers better understand the factors behind increasing prescription medication costs.
“Prescription drug prices have increased astronomically over the last few years,” Wozniak said. “People have been forced to make tough sacrifices to afford their medications, or worse, they’ve skipped buying them altogether and are going without.”
“By holding everyone within the drug supply chain accountable, we can help protect consumers from inflated prices, making their prescription medications more affordable.”
Wozniak’s bill in the package, specifically, prohibits drug manufacturers from giving gifts to prescribers that have a cumulative value of $63 or more each year, not including drug samples.
“Prohibiting drug manufacturers from giving out exorbitant incentives to practitioners for using or prescribing their drugs will force prescribers to use the drugs that are actually best for their patients. This will also prevent prescribers from being influenced by drug manufacturers that give a large gift.”
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 was referred to the House Health Policy for consideration.