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Pennsylvania House Insurance Committee Hearing on Drug Price Transparency

February 08, 2017

Today, the Pennsylvania House Insurance Committee held a hearing on drug price transparency. Central to the hearing was House Bill 161, introduced by Representative Anthony DeLuca (D-Allegheny), which creates the Pharmaceutical Cost Transparency Act. Specifically, the bill would require drug companies to disclose the costs and profits of their drugs, including the cost of research and development, marketing, and advertising associated with the drug.

Insurance Commissioner Theresa Miller was on hand in support of the legislation to provide testimony and noted that pharmaceutical costs “are growing at a faster rate than any other costs in the healthcare system.” She also shared statistics related to the rise in pharmaceutical costs:

  • Nationally, prescription drug spending has grown by 8.1 percent in 2015, after rising over 12 percent in 2014
  • In Pennsylvania, pharmaceutical drugs increased 57 percent in the individual market and 33 percent for small employers

While Pennsylvania is not the first state to put forth effort to create greater drug transparency, it joins an emerging trend across many states introducing legislation on the issue.

Additional testimony was provided by representatives from the:

  • Pharmaceutical Industry
  • Insurance Industry
  • Pennsylvania Department of Aging
  • Pennsylvania Pharmacists Association
  • AARP

For additional information, contact Kate Slatt, HAP’s senior director, health care finance policy.

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