Prescription drug pricing task force meets to discuss cost factor transparency

The Joint Interim Task Force on Fair Pricing of Prescription Drugs held an informational meeting on Tuesday to explore policy strategies and legislative proposals to improve pharmaceutical pricing transparency in Oregon.

The 18-member task force was established by HB 4005 during the 2018 legislative session and is charged with developing a strategy to create drug pricing transparency along the entire supply chain of pharmaceutical products. The task force is required to submit a report to the legislative health committees by November 1, 2018 that may include legislation recommendations and cost-effective solutions to reveal cost factors that impact pharmaceutical product pricing.

The task force began holding monthly meetings in May. The purpose of Tuesday’s meeting was to identify key cost factors influencing pricing as well as methods to bring transparency to these various factors.

During the meeting, the task force reviewed the results of a survey sent to 15 stakeholders that evaluated transactions along the pharmaceutical supply chain and the cost factors involved in each transaction. Based off of survey results, the task force developed the following complex schematic of the transactional relationships:

Based off of the survey, the task force identified the most commonly identified cost factors that have an influence on the price of prescription drugs paid by Oregonians. They include discounts, list price, rebates, and incentive programs.

The survey also included stakeholders’ top five cost factors that increase or decrease pricing:

The task force also reviewed legislative proposals from around the United States related to pricing transparency. According to the National Conference of State Legislatures, “since 2015, states have introduced over 3,500 ‘pieces of legislation’ relating to pharmaceutical policy in the United States.” The task force focused on 40 of those measures that relate to increasing transparency.

The task force evaluated the legislative proposals based on the market participants involved as well as the cost factors impacted by the legislation. Several of the proposals had to do with mandating reporting on prescription drug costs, reporting on price increases, ending pharmacist gag clauses related to pricing, and laws directly related to improving consumer affordability.

The entire meeting can be viewed here. Additional meetings are scheduled for September and October in preparation for the task force to submit their report on November 1st.