Utah Patients & Consumers Deserve Lower Drug Prices

Prescription drug prices are out-of-control, and Utah patients are struggling more and more to afford their medications.  

In one year alone, 44% of Beehive State residents stopped taking a prescription drug as a result of the cost.

Utah’s 139,989 Medicare Part D beneficiaries, many seniors living on a fixed-income, have been especially impacted by Big Pharma’s price-gouging.

Over a two year period, Big Pharma hiked prices on 20 of the top 25 most widely prescribed drugs under the Medicare Part D program at rates three to nine times inflation.

Nationwide, as many as one-in-four Americans can’t afford their medications. Meanwhile, Big Pharma continues to hike prices at rates far exceeding inflation, while making record profits.

A lack of list price transparency contributes to the crisis of prescription drug affordability because Big Pharma is not held accountable to the public and policymakers for their egregious pricing behavior.  Without sufficient transparency, brand name drug makers are free to repeatedly hike prices without justification and without facing public scrutiny.  

Greater list price transparency will help lower prescription drug prices by giving patients greater information to make informed decisions, showing policymakers where drug makers’ pricing practices are most egregious and serving as a deterrent to price-gouging by subjecting price hikes to public scrutiny.

It’s time for Utah’s leaders to act – and give families the relief they need and deserve.

A recent study found Big Pharma hiked prices on seven of the most widely prescribed drugs in the last two years with no evidence the drugs had been improved – resulting in $5.1 billion in increased costs to patients and health plans.

A SOLUTION FOR UTAH: THE PHARMACEUTICAL ENTITY TRANSPARENCY ACT

Utah patients deserve open and honest drug pricing.  The Pharmaceutical Entity Transparency Act marks an important step toward boosting transparency and delivering much needed relief for patients and their families.  This bipartisan, market-based bill will:

Disincentivize Price Hikes

Requiring drug makers to provide advance notice before raising the price by 10 percent or more of any drug that costs $40 or more.

Reduce Costs

Requiring cheaper generic alternatives to be substituted to brand name medications and removing barriers that prevent affordable generics from reaching patients.

Increase Education

Providing physicians with up-to-date information on the price of the drug, so they can relay costs to patients and by disclosing which patient groups receive contributions from Big Pharma.

Hold Big Pharma Accountable

Preventing copay kickback coupons from being used for a medication if there is a lower-cost medicine available.

TRANSPARENCY WORKS: CALIFORNIA’S SENATE BILL 17

In January 2019, legislation known as Senate Bill 17, aimed at boosting list price transparency in the prescription drug marketplace went into effect in California.

Shortly after the law took effect, several brand name drug makers scrapped plans for price hikes on their products, either reducing the increases or canceling them altogether.  The early and positive impact of the California law has led Oregon, Texas and Vermont to pass drug pricing transparency laws in the past two years.  And today, a total of 16 states have adopted laws governing prescription drug pricing transparency.