Democratic State Representative Deb Kolste of Janesville has introduced a package of bills focused on reforming the pharmaceutical industry, including legislation to increase transparency in how prescription drug manufacturers set their prices.
One bill requires drug manufacturers to notify the state prior to price increases of more than 25 percent. They would also be required to include a justification for the price hike and detail the amount of rebates provided to Wisconsin residents. Other bills would prevent insurance companies from removing prescription drugs from their formularies while a contract with a consumer is in place.
Kolste says consumers have been given little insight into what is driving drug prices to record highs. She says consumers are simply given higher prices without any transparency from manufacturers... ".....it is at a crisis point for insurance(companies), governments, and consumers to try and get a handle on pharmaceutical drug pricing. Polls by Kaiser Foundation and Harvard point out that pharmaceutical prices are becoming the number one concern of American, a bipartisan concern by the way...."
Citizen Action of Wisconsin Director Robert Kraig says one example is NARCON, the drug used to save lives in opiate overdoses...
".....it has gone up in price from $690 in 2014, an established prescription drug, no changes, to more than $4,500 today, a price increase in more than two years. Given the opiate epidemic, that can only be described as price gouging...."
The Citizen Action of Wisconsin report is here.