Weekly Policy Update: CBSA Opposes House Bill 1131, Prescription Drug Cost Education
By: Colorado BioScience Association Date: 02/15/2019
This week, CBSA attended a stakeholder meeting on House Bill 1131, Prescription Drug Cost Education.
As the bill is currently written; it requires a drug manufacturer, wholesaler, agent or an employee of the manufacturer or wholesaler, to provide—in writing—the wholesale acquisition cost of a prescription drug to an entity or individual with whom the manufacturer, wholesaler, agent, or employee is sharing information concerning the drug. The bill also requires the drug manufacturer or wholesaler, or an agent or employee of the manufacturer or wholesaler, to provide educational materials about the acquisition costs of other prescription drugs in the same therapeutic class.
CBSA opposes HB 1131 for a number of reasons.
- First, the wholesale acquisition cost (WAC) is already public and available to anyone, which makes this bill unnecessary.
- Secondly, this proposal could lead to higher costs for patients and insurers. This is because the WAC price is almost never what a patient pays for their medication. Requiring employees of a manufacturer to provide that information could be misleading to both the physician and the patient, especially if the physician assumes the drug with the lowest WAC will be the most inexpensive for their patient. What determines what the patient will pay is their insurance (not the WAC). It’s easy to imagine a situation where a manufacturer of a medicine with the highest WAC negotiated the best formulary placement with the patient’s health plan, making that medicine cheaper than the alternatives. In that case, the patient may not get the most affordable drug.
- Lastly, we are concerned about how broadly the bill is currently written, as it would apply to all aspects of the business and as a result, it would be difficult for a manufacturer to ensure they are in compliance.
CBSA will continue to share our concerns on HB19-1131 with the bill’s sponsors and other key legislators. It will be heard in the House Health and Insurance Committee next Wednesday, February 20.
In addition, earlier this week the CBSA Policy Committee convened and voted to take the following positions.
CBSA will Monitor:
If you have any feedback or comment on HB19-1131 or any of CBSA’s recent positions please contact Emily Roberts, firstname.lastname@example.org.