facebook California’s drug price transparency law offers first look at price increases

BIG PHARMA POLITICS: Consumers pressure politicians to do something about rising drug prices. Read More

California’s drug price transparency law offers first look at what’s driving big increases

disclose drug price increasesOregon’s governor signed a new law in late March requiring pharmaceutical companies to disclose information they’ve long kept secret. They’ll have to reveal research and development costs, profits and marketing expenses whenever they raise the price of a drug more than 10 percent a year.

California was the first state in the nation to adopt a similar drug transparency law in January. It requires drug companies to give 60 days’ notice of significant price increases. And it took almost no time for those notices to roll in to various California health agencies and major drug purchasers, according to reporting by POLITICO.

Valeant, a pharmaceutical company that has drawn criticism for its past price increases, reported it is about to raise the price of a generic glaucoma medication by 63 percent. Teva Pharmaceuticals, the world’s biggest generic drug-maker, plans a 49 percent price spike for an inhaled drug used to prevent asthma attacks.

California was the first state in the nation to adopt a similar drug transparency law in January. It requires drug companies to give 60 days’ notice of significant price increases.

The National Academy for State Health Policy reports more than 150 bills have been introduced nationwide to address rising prescription drug costs. While drug transparency laws do not directly affect drug prices, proponents believe that these advance warnings will generate enough bad publicity to force drug-makers to think twice before raising prices without substantive reason.

Teva Pharmaceuticals, the world’s biggest generic drug-maker, plans a 49 percent price spike for an inhaled drug used to prevent asthma attacks.

“It’s a first step,” Jesse O’Brien, policy director for OSPIRG, said of Oregon’s new law during an appearance on AM Northwest. “No one would pretend that this is going to be the silver bullet that fixes the problem because it really is just about transparency. But we do hope that by requiring drug companies to explain what they’re doing it could be a deterrent against some of the worst pricing practices we’ve seen.”

How have you or someone you love been affected by rising prescription drug prices? Share your stories and solutions with Voices for Affordable Health.