Minnesota to Require Drugmakers to Justify Price Hikes

Country: UNITED STATES | Region: NORTH AMERICA | Type: Regulation | Keywords: #minnesota #priceincrease #proposal

PRICENTRIC BRIEF:

  • Aiming to cut down on price hikes, the Minnesota House of Representatives approved a proposal ordering drug manufacturers to justify large increases in prescription drug costs, and Gov. Tim Walz is expected to sign the measure into law
  • The bill would require drug manufacturers that priced prescriptions drugs at more than $100 for a 30-day supply, raised a brand name drug price by more than 10 percent in a 12-month period or increased the price of a generic drug by 50 percent or more during a 12-month period to report the increase to the Minnesota Department of Health
  • The manufacturer would also need to explain the cause of the price increase, and the information would then be made public—drugmakers who fail to comply in a timely manner would face state penalties

THE DETAILS

SAINT PAUL, Minnesota, The United States — Aiming to cut down on price hikes, the Minnesota House of Representatives on Saturday approved, in a 99-33 vote, a proposal ordering drug manufacturers to justify large increases in prescription drug costs.

The measure has been sent to the desk of Gov. Tim Walz who is expected to sign the measure into law.

Last month, the Minnesota Senate approved the bill after nearly two years of negotiations between lawmakers, patient advocacy groups, doctors, pharmacists, drug manufacturers and others.

The bill would require drug manufacturers that priced prescriptions drugs at more than $100 for a 30-day supply, raised a brand name drug price by more than 10 percent in a 12-month period or increased the price of a generic drug by 50 percent or more during a 12-month period to report the increase to the Minnesota Department of Health.

The manufacturer would also need to explain the cause of the price increase, and the information would then be made public. Drugmakers who fail to comply in a timely manner would face state penalties.

Earlier this year, the Minnesota Attorney General’s Advisory Task Force on Lowering Pharmaceutical Drug Prices called for the state to push more transparency around prescription drug pricing as a strategy to lower costs. Comparable laws already exist in at least six other states.

“We know that Minnesotans are paying too much for prescription drugs, the cost of many drugs has skyrocketed to the point that they are becoming inaccessible to the people who need them to survive and thrive,” House sponsor Rep. Kelly Morrison, D-Deephaven, said.

“Pharmaceutical companies create life-changing and life-sustaining medications but they are useless if people cannot afford them.”

A Republican lawmaker opposed to the bill said requirements around transparency are already in place and the bill won’t prove to be effective.

“I know that the pharmaceutical industry isn’t a bunch of white knights, I’ll agree with that,” Rep. Glenn Gruenhagen, R-Glencoe, said. “This probably is an over-regulatory step that might actually hurt patients and restrict access of needed prescription drugs.”

In April the Minnesota governor signed an emergency insulin bill capping monthly copayments for a 30-day supply of insulin at $35, with the benefit available for up to a 90-day supply.

The Alec Smith Insulin Affordability Act (the Act) established a statewide insulin assistance program for Minnesotans, which is able to be extended to the uninsured, underinsured, Medicare beneficiaries, and those whose copays are too high.

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