facebook States want to lower drug prices, but Big Pharma is fighting back

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

States want to lower drug prices, but Big Pharma is fighting back

statesSeveral states trying to rein in high drug prices are meeting heavy opposition from the pharmaceutical industry.

Earlier this year, as reported by FiercePharma, Maryland, Nevada and California lawmakers passed bills that challenge drug pricing. Then the industry trade group, PhRMA, filed a suit against the bills in California and Nevada.  Another industry group, the Association for Accessible Medicines, sued in Maryland.

The suits claimed that the laws were unconstitutional because of their impact to commerce in other states.

“States are feeling as if they need to take action to address this problem because the federal government hasn’t done so. But their ability to act is limited,” Rachel Sachs, a law professor at Washington University School of Law, told FierceHealthcare.

When Maryland tried to prevent price gouging of essential drugs in response to the astronomical price hikes for the life-saving drug EpiPen, the federal Fourth Circuit Court of Appeals struck down the statute.

This year Vermont was the first state to pass legislation allowing for imported lower-cost prescription drugs from Canada. However, the federal Health and Human Services still needs to certify the program by July 2019.

There is good news in Oregon, which passed a law earlier in the year requiring drug makers who raise their drug prices 10 percent or more to tell the state about their costs.

How are high drug prices affecting you? Should states do something about it? Share your voice.