Rep. Ackerman legislation would make pricing of prescription drugs more transparent


STATE HOUSE — Rep. Mia Ackerman (D-Dist. 45, Cumberland, Lincoln) has introduced legislation that would provide transparency to the cost of prescription drugs.

The legislation (2021-H 5494) would provide drug cost transparency by requiring reports be submitted by drug manufacturers, pharmacy benefit managers and health benefit plan insurers to the director of the Department of Business Regulation regarding prescription drugs.

“Now more than ever, consumers need to know how much they’re paying for prescription drugs,” said Representative Ackerman. “The drug pricing process can be complicated and confusing. And the market is affected by so many variables that drug costs can change considerably from month to month, with the average consumer having no idea why the cost of a drug they need to survive suddenly doubled in price. This act would change that by having a system in place to make the whole process more transparent.”

The Drug Cost Transparency Act would require drug manufacturers to submit a report to the director of the Department of Business Administration stating the current wholesale acquisition cost information for drugs sold in Rhode Island. The report would include a statement regarding the factors that caused the increase in the wholesale acquisition costs and an explanation of the role of each factor’s impact on the cost.

The director would also be required to set up a website to provide the general public with drug price information.

In addition, pharmacy benefit managers would have to report aggregated rebates, fees, price protection payments, and any other payments collected from pharmaceutical drug manufacturers.

The bipartisan legislation, which is cosponsored by Representatives Joseph M. McNamara (D-Dist. 19, Warwick, Cranston), Edith H. Ajello (D-Dist. 1, Providence), Brandon C. Potter (D-Dist. 16, Cranston), David Morales (D-Dist. 7, Providence) and House Minority Leader Blake A. Filippi (R-Dist. 36, New Shoreham, Charlestown, South Kingstown, Westerly), has been referred to the House Committee on Health and Human Services.


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