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Bipartisan drug price transparency bill passes House, awaits Gov. Walz’s approval

Bipartisan drug price transparency bill passes House, awaits Gov. Walz’s approval Photo: KSTP-TV.

Kyle Brown
Updated: May 09, 2020 04:06 PM
Created: May 09, 2020 03:59 PM

The Minnesota House of Representatives on Saturday passed a bipartisan bill that would require drug manufacturers to disclose the cost of drugs that exceed a certain price or increase in price over time.

SF 1098, named the Prescription Drug Price Transparency Act, passed the House by a vote of 99-33. The Senate passed the bill last month 63-2. 

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If the bill is signed into law, pharmaceutical companies would have to submit pricing information to the commissioner of health starting in October of 2021. The bill specifies separate disclosure requirements for drugs depending on whether they're name-brand or generic medications.

For name-brand drugs, manufacturers would have to submit pricing information for increases of 10% or more over a 12-month period and 16% or more over a 24-month period. For generic drugs, companies would have to report price increases of 50% or more. Price reporting is also mandatory for all drugs for which a 30-day supply costs more than $100.

Stay up to date on statehouse activity with KSTP's Legislation Tracker

Other information drug manufacturers must report includes:

  • The name of the drug and the percentage the price increased.
  • Contributing factors to the drug's price increase.
  • The name of any generic version of the drug available on the market.
  • The introductory price of the drug when it was approved by the Food and Drug Administration and a breakdown of its price increases over the past five years.
  • Details on the cost to manufacture, market and distribute the drug.
  • The manufacturer's net profit from the drug over the past year, among others.

All the information pharmaceutical companies provide to the health commissioner would be kept in a public online database. 

Rep. Kelly Morrison, DFL-Deephaven, is a practicing physician and the Prescription Drug Price Transparency Act's chief author in the House.

“We know that Minnesotans are paying too much for prescription drugs,” Morrison wrote in a statement. “The cost of many drugs has skyrocketed to the point that they are becoming inaccessible to the people that need them to survive and thrive. Pharmaceutical companies create life-changing and life-sustaining medications, but they are useless if people can’t afford them.”

The Minnesota Council of Health Plans, a coalition of seven health insurance providers, praised the legislation, calling prescription drugs "a major driver of premiums." Lucas Nesse, the council's president and CEO, said he hoped greater transparency will bring health care costs down in Minnesota.

"Greater transparency of these expenses will help advance affordable drug pricing for all Minnesotans and lead to useful data to better inform policymakers," Nesse said.


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