Some Insurers Win If States’ Legislation Against High Drug Costs Passes

The war against high drug prices is being fought state by state, according to the Wall Street Journal. Some of the toughest legislation that would control drug prices has surfaced in state legislatures, and that has not gone unnoticed by the pharmaceutical industry. The industry opposes most of the bills and has launched lobbying campaigns where such legislation is being considered. The fight has just begun, with the Pharmaceutical Research and Manufacturers of America saying it is “beefing up resources” for the engagement.

David Ricks, Eli Lilly’s CEO, tells the WSJ that the state bills are “totally wrongheaded. The more price controls we have, there is evidence you’ll have market distortions.”

Everybody’s watching Oregon, home of one of the more aggressive efforts to control drug prices. A bill there caps out-of-pocket costs at $100 or $200 a month, according to the WSJ. It would do this in part by giving health insurers rebate money to offset out-of-pocket costs.

The bill would also require pharma companies to pay rebates if the price of a medication exceeds the median of “the five highest prices charged in countries that are members of the Organization of for Economic Cooperation and Development, such as the U.K., France and Germany—countries where prices are typically lower than in the U.S,” according to the WSJ.

The newspaper adds: “The bill applies to certain private health insurers, third-party insurance plan administrators, and health plans for certain public employees. It doesn’t apply to employer-sponsored plans that are subject to federal regulations.”

Source: Wall Street Journal