Oregon Governor Signs Bill To Rein In Prescription Drug Prices

Oregon Gov. Kate Brown signed a bill Tuesday to rein in prescription drug prices.

Under Oregon’s new law, drug manufacturers who increase the price of a prescription drug by 10 percent or more must inform the state of its research and development costs, along with its marketing costs, profits and the cost of the drug overseas.

“Every Oregonian should be able to access the medications and treatments that allow them to live healthy, productive lives,” Brown said.

“This bill brings greater transparency around drug pricing, an important step toward making life saving and essential drugs more available and affordable.”

Patty Wentz with the group Oregonians for Affordable Drug Prices hopes that as more states pass similar bills, prices will stop rising quickly.

“I think it sends a very strong message to the pharmaceutical industry that enough is enough,” she said.

In addition, the new law requires insurance companies to report the 25 most expensive prescription drugs in their plans, which ones have increased the most and how those costs affect premiums.

As the transparency provisions are being implemented, the law also establishes a task force to look at what additional transparency measures will shine a light on high drug prices.

A spokesman for the drug manufactures group PhRMA says the new law purports to address drug prices, but really only focuses on some cost drivers. He said other drivers include insurance actuaries, wholesalers and pharmacy benefit managers.

Pharmaceutical companies will be required to report on price increases greater than 10 percent beginning summer 2019.

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