New bill calls for more transparency in drug prices


A consumer protection bill introduced in the Ohio House of Representatives this week aims to increase transparency in prescription drug pricing.

“Action is needed to address the rising prescription drug prices to protect Ohio consumers,” said state Rep. Scott Lipps, R-Franklin, one of the sponsors of House Bill 479. “Prescription drug pricing in its supply chain is complex and broke and needs to be scrutinized.”

INVESTIGATION: Why do prescription drugs cost so much?

The bill would ban the controversial practice of pharmacy clawbacks, when pharmacy benefit managers — the middlemen between pharmacies and insurers — over-inflate the cost of prescription medications at the point-of-sale and then pocket the money the patient was overcharged.

The bill would also ban pharmacist gag orders, which contractually prevent a pharmacist from discussing the true cost of a prescription medication with their customer.

RELATED: Consumers kept in the dark over drug pricing

Under current practice, in many cases, pharmacy staff are not allowed to talk in detail to customers about pricing, or reveal the real cost of the medication they’re buying, under threat of losing their contracts with pharmacy benefit managers and insurers.

Douglas Anderson is a professor of pharmacy practice at Cedarville University. He said there is a great need for regulatory reform, and this plan is a good first step.

“If we can help some patients by lifting the so called gag order from the pharmacies so they can discuss what the cash price will be for a particular prescription that would be a good thing,” Anderson said.

VIDEO GUIDE: How do prescription drug prices get set?

The plan has the backing of the Ohio Pharmacists Association.

At Wednesday’s news conference at the Statehouse, the pharmacists association credited investigative reporting from the Dayton Daily News and other media outlets for spurring the need for action on prescription pricing.

MORE COVERAGE OF PRESCRIPTION DRUG PRICES:

$180,000 price tag for Miami Twp. boy’s prescription

3 reasons prescription drugs cost so much

Kettering diabetic on insulin prices: ‘I’m getting gouged’

Different prices at different pharmacies: Why?

Consumers beware: Drug discounts may contain a catch

Who’s really controlling your drug prices? 5 things to know

Dayton man lead plaintiff in drug suit alleging price-gouging



Reader Comments ...


Next Up in Politics

Local Congressman Jim Jordan could become one of most powerful D.C. players
Local Congressman Jim Jordan could become one of most powerful D.C. players

With the 2018 midterm elections months away, experts are eyeing two scenarios for House Republicans: One: they lose the House majority. Two: They keep the majority, but it shrinks. For U.S. Rep. Jim Jordan, the first scenario is a nightmare. The second could make him one of the most powerful people in Washington. Jordan, who saw his two endorsed GOP...
Big money, political muscle on display in payday lending clash
Big money, political muscle on display in payday lending clash

Payday lending stores dot the landscape of Ohio’s small towns, suburban strip malls and inner-city thoroughfares. To hear one side tell it, they give their customers — many with bad credit — much-needed access to quick money for emergencies and everyday expenses. To hear the other side tell it, they take advantage of the poor by charging...
Brown takes shot at Renacci in negative ad
Brown takes shot at Renacci in negative ad

THE AD: A 30-second television commercial for Sen. Sherrod Brown, D-Ohio. WHERE TO SEE IT: State broadcast television and here  VIDEO: Unflattering images of Renacci. Then it concludes with Sherrod Brown chatting with industrial workers. SCRIPT: Voice of a narrator: The U.S. Congress. There’s 68 teachers, 15 farmers, four pilots, but...
Should people work for Medicaid? Here’s how to weigh in.
Should people work for Medicaid? Here’s how to weigh in.

The clock has started for the next round of public comment on Ohio’s proposal to create the state’s first ever work requirements associated with Medicaid. The new rules would add requirements to work or go to school at least 20 hours per week to remain eligible for benefits under the health insurance program for low-income Ohioans, which...
Recreational marijuana closer to Ohio ballot — but lots of work ahead
Recreational marijuana closer to Ohio ballot — but lots of work ahead

Legalized recreational marijuana is one small step closer to appearing on Ohio ballots in 2019. The Ohio Ballot Board certified a proposed constitutional amendment Thursday, according to Ohio Secretary of State Jon Husted’s office. The amendment was previously certified earlier this month by Ohio Attorney General Mike DeWine. Ohio Families for...
More Stories