COMPTROLLER LEMBO, REP. SCANLON UNVEIL MAJOR PHARMACEUTICAL TRANSPARENCY LEGISLATION
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE TUESDAY, MARCH 6, 2018
State Comptroller Kevin Lembo and State Rep. Sean Scanlon (D-Guilford), House Chairman of the Insurance and Real Estate Committee, today unveiled a major piece of legislation that, for the first time, creates transparency for pharmaceutical drug pricing in Connecticut.
House Bill 5384, An Act Concerning Prescription Drug Costs, would trigger a state review when drug prices soar beyond a reasonable threshold, and it would require disclosure of essential information about rebates and deals between drug manufacturers and pharmacy benefit managers to ensure that consumers get relief at the pharmacy counter.
“The journey between drug manufacturer and consumer is a long one – dotted with many deals, payments and wealth exchange along the way,” Lembo said. “As if the consumer cost at the counter wasn’t enough, most of us are paying massive, often inexplicable, drug price markups without even realizing it – through our insurance premiums, our taxes and in the cost of doing business with any employer. There is only one way to extend any free-market fairness to this realm: By shining a bright light onto a shadowy market.”
“Prescription drug costs are the fastest rising cost in health care and
consumers are rarely given an explanation when the costs of their drugs
increase,” Scanlon said. “Under this legislation, we will finally get our
constituents the answers they deserve and dig deeper into what’s happening with
drug prices so we can ultimately lower health care costs for Connecticut seniors
• When a drug price increases beyond a 25-percent threshold, the Office of
Health Strategy will have the authority to request a justification for that
increase from the drug manufacturer, including details about research and
development and related expenses. Ideally, this measure would eventually be
expanded to include disclosure about drug manufacturers’ marketing expenses as
“This state review will raise essential questions,” Lembo said. “Is there a rationalization for sending drug costs skyward – by sometimes hundreds or even thousands of percent - for drugs on the market for sometimes years? Are these profits fueling research and development? If so, then here’s an opportunity to demonstrate that.”