Shining a Light on Runaway Prescription Costs

(April 12) – Reps. Joann Ginal and Dominique Jackson won voice-vote House approval today for their bill to add some transparency around skyrocketing prices for pharmaceutical drugs.

Under HB18-1260, pharmaceuticals companies would be required to provide 90 days’ notice to the public when they increase the price of a drug by 10 percent over two years. Manufacturers and health insurance companies would be required to post lists of the 25 costliest drugs, the 25 most prescribed drugs and the 25 drugs with the highest year-over-year cost increases.

“This bill will help hold drug manufacturers accountable for out-of-control price increases and will help Colorado families be informed and prepared, rather than be blindsided by substantial cost increases at the pharmacy,” said Rep. Ginal, D-Fort Collins. “We have a responsibility to our constituents, the people of Colorado. This is a reasonable approach toward understanding the underlying costs behind prescription drug price increases. “

“In 2017, one in 10 Coloradans did not fill a prescription because of cost,” said Rep. Jackson, D-Commerce City. “House Bill 1260 attempts to help us better understand this cost driver in health care, so we can tackle it effectively.”

Drug pricing has been the subject of recent high-profile cases like that of Martin Shkreli, whose company bought the rights to an exclusive antiparasitic drug and immediately jacked up the price from $13.50 to $750 per pill, and Heather Bresch, whose company came under intense criticism for the sixfold price increase of its EpiPen, an emergency antidote for allergic reactions.

After a recorded vote, HB18-1260 will be headed to the Senate.

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