Price controls on diabetes drugs, licenses for sales reps key features of pharmaceutical bill
Price controls on diabetes medication. Requiring pharmaceutical sales representatives to be licensed and annually report to the state on their activities. Mandating disclosure of any pharmaceutical-related contributions by nonprofits working in the health care sector.
These are just some of the changes proposed by Democratic Sen. Yvanna Cancela in an omnibus pharmaceutical bill introduced on Tuesday — changes she says are necessary in order to ensure patients have access to life-saving drugs and to bolster health care industry transparency. But pharmaceutical company lobbyists are already digging in their heels and saying it will reduce patients’ access to life-saving medicine and ignores the importance of private market competition.
A substantial portion of the bill, SB265, seeks to improve access to medically necessary diabetes drugs by implementing price controls, which pharmaceutical companies have long resisted. The legislation, which eight of Cancela’s Democratic colleagues have signed onto, would require the state Department of Health and Human Services to compile a list of “essential” drugs that treat diabetes, such as insulin and biguanides, and require drug manufacturers to reimburse purchasers — either the patient or the insurance company — when the manufacturer’s list price of the drug exceeds the highest price paid for the drug in certain countries or if it exceeds annual changes in the Consumer Price Index.
The goal, in Cancela’s view, is essentially to stabilize the cost of a drugs such as insulin that have existed for 95 years and yet have Continue reading