Drug Pricing Policy Watch

Drug pricing has become a hot-button political issue in American politics over the past several years, featuring prominently in the 2016 presidential campaign, and remaining in national news in the early days of the Trump Administration. The primary focus of this blog will be to track the progress of major pieces of state drug pricing legislation and related bills, and to highlight certain key features of these proposals as they evolve through state legislatures.  In addition, we will address noteworthy federal legislative developments and corporate pronouncements related to prescription drug pricing, such as commitments by major drug manufacturers on price increases and transparency.

Latest from Drug Pricing Policy Watch

n May 7, 2019, the Ways and Means Committee of the Massachusetts Senate reported its final budget (S.4), which includes within it authority for the Commonwealth’s Executive Office of Health and Human Services (“HHS”) to directly negotiate supplemental rebates with drug manufacturers for covered drugs on behalf of the Massachusetts Medicaid program, MassHealth.  The operative language appears in outside sections 4 and 39 of the budget and is substantially similar to drug rebate…
On April 11, 2019, the Massachusetts House Committee on Ways and Means released its FY 2020 budget (H.3800).  The legislation includes provisions authorizing MassHealth (the Massachusetts Medicaid program) to negotiate supplemental rebates directly with drug manufacturers, and provides for further proceedings before the Health Policy Commission for manufacturers refusing to negotiate supplemental rebates at levels satisfactory to the Commonwealth. These provisions represent amendments to a MassHealth drug pricing proposal included in Governor Baker’s…
Only weeks after the Supreme Court declined to hear Maryland’s appeal of the 4th Circuit decision striking down the state’s recent drug price transparency law, the Maryland legislature has again resolved to address prescription drug pricing.  Recently cross-filed Senate and House bills in the new legislative session incorporate many of the same reporting requirements underpinning the now invalidated 2017 law, but expand the scope of the reporting requirements to include PBMs and insurance carriers in…
On October 17, 2017, the Massachusetts Senate Working Group on Health Care Cost and Containment and Reform (initially convened in the fall of 2016) released draft legislation entitled “An Act furthering Health Empowerment and Affordability by Leveraging Transformative Health Care.”  The Massachusetts Senate engrossed the bill, with significant amendments, on November 11, 2017 (the “bill”).  In addition to proposed changes in the regulation of hospitals and insurers operating within the state, the bill would…
The recently enacted California drug price transparency law SB 17 is facing a legal challenge to its constitutionality in the form of a PhRMA lawsuit filed in the US District Court for the Eastern District of California on December 8.  In PhRMA v. Brown, PhRMA is seeking declaratory judgment that the drug pricing provisions of SB 17 are unconstitutional and a permanent injunction against their implementation and enforcement. PhRMA is challenging the constitutionality of…
California’s Office of Statewide Health Planning and Development (OSHPD) has released an implementation plan for California’s new drug transparency law SB 17.  The first part of the law to take effect will require manufacturers of drugs experiencing greater than 16% increases in WAC over three calendar years to provide 60 days’ advance notice to state purchasers as well as healthcare service plans, health insurers, and PBMs that register with OSHPD.  OSHPD is planning to compile…
On October 9, California Governor Jerry Brown signed SB 17, legislation mandating advance notice and price transparency reporting for drugs experiencing greater than 16% increases in WAC over three calendar years and new drugs introduced at a WAC above the Medicare Part D specialty drug threshold.  The legislation will take effect January 1, 2018, although the reporting requirements to the Office of Statewide Health Planning and Development will begin in the first quarter of…
After a slow-down during the summer recesses, action on the drug price transparency front is beginning to increase as we enter the fall season.  Here are a few states to watch in the coming months: California California’s price transparency legislation, SB 17, passed the legislature on September 13, and now goes to Governor Jerry Brown for his signature.  The legislation had passed the Senate by a 28-10 vote on May 30, and the Assembly…
We recently wrote about the newly enacted Nevada drug price transparency law here.  The law requires manufacturers of prescription diabetes drugs to disclose certain drug cost information to the state Department of Health and Human Services (“Department”).  In addition, the law imposes several unique reporting requirements on non-profit patient advocacy groups and pharmaceutical sales representatives.  We expected that these reporting requirements would garner some attention and, likely, some opposition.  We were correct. On September…
California’s drug price transparency legislation, SB 17, passed the State Assembly on September 11 by a vote of 66-9.  The bill included several amendments to the version of the bill that passed the State Senate at the end of May.  The State Senate then passed the amended legislation on September 13.  Among the most important amendments were changes to “triggers” for price reporting, and for advance notice requirements relative to WAC increases. SB 17…