Prescription drug companies could be forced to divulge development costs for their products in Oregon under a proposal advancing in the state House.
Drug companies would be required to disclose the costs for developing, manufacturing, marketing and distributing their most expensive offerings, along with how much they made from the drug in the previous calendar year. The disclosure requirements would apply only to drugs that met two thresholds: costing at least $100 for a month’s supply, and having had their prices increased by 10 percent or more in the previous year.
Legislators in the Joint Committee On Ways and Means approved the bill 16-6 Friday, sending it to a full House vote.
“We wanted to focus on the ones that are really the most expensive,” said Rep. Rob Nosse, D-Portland, one of the bill’s sponsors.
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While several Republican legislators voted against sending the bill for a full vote, the measure has Republican co-sponsors, which Nosse said helped it get further than a previous, more aggressive version. Nosse said he hoped it would also help it survive scrutiny from Democratic leaders in the state Senate.
Jim Gardner, a representative of the Pharmaceutical Research and Manufacturers of America, said lawmakers should prioritize keeping transparency standards even across the supply chain for drugs, rather than just singling out manufacturers.
“The big flaw in the base bill is it singles out one entity in the supply chain and leaves everybody else off the hook, in terms of transparency,” Gardner said.
The information collected under the proposal would be posted publicly on the website of the Department of Consumer and Business Services. Along with making the costs public, the bill would also give the agency the power to fine companies that violate the rules up to $10,000 per day.
While the measure would require the information be posted for the most expensive drugs, it would only apply to prescription drugs, not over the counter medications.
And manufacturers of drugs that cost less than the $100 per month threshold for disclosure, or that raised their prices less than 10 percent per year, would not be required to disclose their costs under the measure.