Legislature takes small steps in battle to control drug prices | News, Sports, Jobs

Anyone who does just about anything to reduce drug prices is on the right track, from our point of view.

So when the Michigan Legislature passed Bill 4348, bipartisan legislation to reduce the cost of prescription drugs based on recommendations from Governor Gretchen Whitmer’s Prescription Drug Task Force, we were thrilled, and we bet a lot of other people.

The State Director General issued the following statement, which reads in part: “This bipartisan legislation will help us reduce the cost of prescription drugs for families in Michigan. We must continue to work together to improve transparency in healthcare, hold accountable the people and companies who profit from soaring prices, and make life-saving essential medicines like insulin affordable for every Michigander who needs them.

The new bill requires drug benefit managers to file transparency reports, ensuring that Michiganders have access to information about the final cost and profit of drugs prescribed to them.

It also promotes oversight by requiring drug benefit managers to be licensed by the state of Michigan.

On development, the governor’s task force worked with health policy experts, bipartisan members of the legislature and stakeholders to discuss legislative and administrative solutions to reduce the cost of prescription drugs.

The task force’s final report recommended the following specific policies which, among others, are included in the measure passed by the Legislative Assembly:

— Requires/transparency reports from/pharmaceutical benefit managers.

– Requires state licensing for Pharmacy Benefit Managers.

— Enables greater enforcement power for licensed pharmacy benefit managers.

– Helps make necessary medications affordable for all families in Michigan.

— Prohibits questionable business practices.

Of course, this bill will not solve all the problems with prescription drugs, including the cost of insulin. But it is a definite step in the right direction.

We commend the Legislative Assembly for setting aside endless culture wars to manage the peoples’ affairs.

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