Proposed Drug Plan Bill Could Raise Consumer Rx Prices
Changes in Oklahoma Could Set Costly Precedent for Other States
April 21, 2016
New legislation just passed by the state House of Representatives in Oklahoma will allow pharmacies to request higher prices than the maximum allowable costs (MAC) on certain prescription drugs, as well as enable pharmacies to request higher consumer co-pays, according to a new report by National Center for Policy Analysis Senior Fellow Devon Herrick.
“Anyone covered by an insurance drug plan or using drug plan discount cards should take note of what’s happening at the state level in Oklahoma right now,” said Herrick. “Prices that have been negotiated between drug plan managers and pharmacies put a limit on what consumers must pay for certain drugs. If SB1150 is passed, pharmacies will be given the right to contest drug pricing that they consider too low. Consumers are the losers under this proposed change in the rules.”
Lobbyists for state pharmacy trade associations are making the case for lifting negotiated price ceilings on prescription drugs in other states as well, says Herrick. The Oklahoma bill would also allow pharmacies to request raising consumer drug co-pay amounts.
“The legal right to ignore prior contractual agreements and renegotiate existing contracts at any time could cost Oklahomans a bundle,” he added. “According to one estimate, this law would raise taxpayers’ cost by up to $8 million per year for the state employee health plan. Others would also see price increases.”
SB 1150 has just gone to the senate side of the Oklahoma legislature.