HARRISBURG − May 24, 2021 – Today Senators Sharif Street (D-Philadelphia) and Dan Laughlin (R-Erie) discussed their bipartisan legislation to require the state Insurance Department to collect and make publicly available data pertaining to the cost of each drug produced by a pharmaceutical company.
Senate Bill 579 is intended to address the affordability and access to critical medications and the challenge patients, providers, businesses, government health programs and insurers face with the rising costs of prescription drugs, especially the recent development of extremely expensive but valuable drugs.
“The information required to be reported under this bill shall be made publicly available on the Insurance Departments website, except for identities of individual payers receiving rebates,” said Senator Street. “In addition, Senate Bill 579 prohibits contracts between pharmacies and pharmacy benefit managers or insurers from including provisions prohibiting pharmacists from disclosing information to a customer that would reduce the customer’s out-of-pocket costs.”
Under the measure, pharmaceutical manufacturers would be required to file annual reports with the Department detailing the expenditures for the drugs they produce including:
- Research and development costs;
- Clinical trials and regulatory costs;
- Materials, manufacturing and administrative expenses;
- Costs paid by another entity including governmental grants;
- Other costs to acquire the drug, including the purchase of patents, licensing or acquisition costs; and
- Aggregate amount of manufacturer rebates.
“These drugs are wonderful advancements in improving health care and they may even reduce aggregate costs; at the same time, there is little information available to the consumer as to why they cost so much and almost no ability to negotiate price,” said Senator Laughlin, “While Pennsylvania continues to face many challenges, I hope we can work together to make drug pricing and affordability a priority.”
The event was livestreamed and can be found here.