Weekly Policy Update: Drug Pricing Transparency Bill Introduced in Colorado, Plus CBSA Advocates in DC
By: Colorado BioScience Association Date: 04/05/2019
This week CBSA testified in the House Health and Insurance Committee in opposition to House Bill 1296 – Prescription Drug Cost Reduction Measures. The bill requires health insurers, prescription drug manufacturers, pharmacy benefit managers (PBMs), and nonprofit organizations to report certain information about the costs of prescription drugs to the Commissioner of Insurance, who will then analyze the information and submit a report regarding the effects of prescription drug costs on health insurance premiums.
Specifically, drug manufacturers must notify the Commissioner and all purchasers of price increases that meet a certain threshold 30 days in advance of the effective date and provide notice for new specialty drugs (within 3 days of FDA approval). Manufacturers must also provide additional information to the Commissioner on a quarterly basis for all drugs for which they notified purchasers.
House bill 1296 also precludes PBMs from retroactively reducing payments to pharmacies and requires carriers to reduce consumer cost-sharing for prescription drugs to reflect rebates the carrier or PBM received.
CBSA testified in opposition to the bill and expressed objections to the 30-day advanced notice of price increases, stressing that it could lead to stockpiling and undermine competitive bidding in the market. We also emphasized that nearly all the information drug manufacturers are being asked to report is highly sensitive, and the bill does not go far enough in protecting that confidential information from public disclosure. CBSA conveyed appreciation to the bill sponsors for proposed changes to the reporting requirements for patent information that would limit reporting to the expiration date of a patent, if the drug is covered by a patent. Finally, we expressed support for language in the bill that would reduce patient out-of-pocket costs for prescription drugs by passing through rebates to patients.
House Bill 1296 passed out of the Health Committee by a vote of 7-4 and was referred to the House Committee on Finance. CBSA remains opposed to the bill and will continue to work closely with our members and industry partners to advocate for changes that would remove the advanced notice provision and enhance protections for confidential and proprietary information.
A complete list of CBSA’s positions on 2019 state legislation can be found here.
If you have any feedback or comments on House Bill 1296 or any of CBSA’s positions on state legislation, please contact Emily Roberts.
Also, this week CBSA President & CEO Jennifer Jones Paton met with Members of the Colorado Congressional Delegation as part of the BIO Fly-In in Washington, DC. The trip is always a great opportunity to update our delegation about the exciting advancements in our industry. We want to make sure our elected officials continue to promote policies that will help the industry thrive.
In addition to thanking Members for their leadership and support, CBSA advocated for a number of key federal priorities during the Fly-In, including policies that would lower out-of-pocket costs for patients and remove barriers to access. CBSA also discussed support for value-based arrangements that will allow for manufacturers, government and private payors to develop innovative payment arrangements for high-cost, high-value medicines. Finally, CBSA expressed serious concerns with the potential International Pricing Index (IPI) Model for Medicare Part B drugs and compulsory licensing of a company’s intellectual property.
If you have questions about the meetings that took place as part of the BIO Fly-In, please contact Jennifer Jones Paton.