States Push for More Transparency Over Drug Prices

March 3, 2017

The Hill reported that “during the 2015-2016 state legislative sessions, dozens of states filed bills to require drugmakers, health insurers and pharmacy benefit managers to explain various elements of their spending and how they price drugs.” According to the National Conference of State Legislatures, so far this year, fifteen states have filed drug pricing transparency measures. The drug industry has argued that such information on development costs would not “translate to patients, who would rather know how much they’re being charged for drugs and why certain drugs are covered by insurance while others are not.” Aaron Kesselheim, an associate professor of medicine at Harvard Medical School, said that while “more transparency won’t change prices … a clearer understanding of drugmakers' research and development, marketing and administrative costs would help state payers and policymakers evaluate the reasonableness of a price”