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Nevada adopts new law in response to rising costs for asthma drugs

Big Pharma lobbying spendingWhy is it so expensive to have asthma?

That’s the question elected officials are asking in Nevada, where a new state law requires drug companies to disclose information about how they price asthma medications, including manufacturing and research expenses.

The law comes in response to significant price increases in medications used to treat asthma. For example, the average cost of an inhaler jumped from $280 in 2013 to $380 in 2018. That’s 35 percent in just five years, with little explanation.

“This will not solve the problem for the high cost of asthma medications,” Nevada State Sen. Yvanna Cancela, D-Las Vegas, told The Las Vegas Review Journal. “But it does shed light and help us come up with solutions by giving us data that does not come from the industry (previously).”

Cancela was the chief sponsor for the legislation behind the new law. She also helped pass a similar measure in 2017 that required disclosures for insulin prices.

Big Pharma filed a lawsuit attempting to block Nevada’s 2017 insulin law. The industry ultimately dropped its challenge.

Do you or someone you love have asthma? Has the cost of your inhaler spiked? Share your story with Voices for Affordable Health.