Scanlon Leads House Passage Of Bill Requiring Transparency In Drug Pricing

May 4, 2018

As House chair of the legislature’s Insurance and Real Estate Committee, Scanlon worked with state Comptroller Kevin Lembo on the issue and introduced House Bill 5384, An Act Concerning Prescription Drug Costs. The bill passed unanimously by the House today, which now goes to the Senate, would require drug companies to justify price increases when the price of a drug jumps by 20 percent in one year or by 50 percent over three years.

Scanlon said the legislation would create groundbreaking transparency requirements for drug manufacturers and upon enactment quickly lead to consumer savings at pharmacies.

“Connecticut consumers are fed up with constant price increases for their prescriptions and the lack of explanation from drug companies as to why costs keep going up,” Scanlon said. “This bill ensures that our constituents will finally get the answers they have been looking for and deserve.”

“This is an extraordinary victory for Connecticut patients who are paying outrageous prices at the counter while powerful corporations are thriving on big discounts,” Lembo said. “The wealth exchange between corporate giants, from pharmaceutical manufacturers to pharmacy benefit managers to insurance companies, will no longer happen in the shadows. This legislation finally forces light and accountability onto a broken pharmaceutical and insurance market.”

In addition, the bill requires:

  1. Information about new drugs in the FDA approval pipeline so we can better plan for new drug spending on the state employee plan and Medicaid.
  2. Insurers must include information on the top 25 highest cost drugs, top 25 with greatest increases and the portion of premium that increased because of drug spending on plan when they file their rates with the state Insurance Department.
  3. Pharmacy benefit managers (PBMs) must disclose rebates they received from drug companies and amount of rebate they passed onto consumers versus the amount they retained. Connecticut would become the first state in the country to require this.
  4. Insurers must either provide consumers with point of sale rebate at pharmacy counter or certify that they are using rebates to lower premiums

“Lowering drug prices for the people of Connecticut is my ultimate goal and the passage of HB 5384 brings us one step closer to ultimately attaining desperately needed relief when it comes to drug prices,” Scanlon said.