Oregon – Oregon just took another huge step towards holding drug makers accountable. Last year Oregon became the first state in nation to pass a prescription drug transparency bill. Now it’s up, online, and ready for you to use. Dave Hunt with the nonprofit Oregon Coalition for Affordable Prescriptions (OCAP) says up until now, drug cost information was really only available to the drug makers. That’s why this is such a game changer. Medicine affects everyone. Read more:
The Department of Consumer & Business Services wants to hear from you
Last year, Oregon passed the Prescription Drug Pricing Transparency Act (HB 4005), which requires prescription drug manufacturers and health insurance companies to report specific drug price increases to the Oregon Department of Consumer and Business Services (DCBS).
DCBS also wants to hear from consumers. Launched this week, the new Prescription Drug Pricing Transparency Program website allows Oregonians to report price increases.
All Oregonians are encouraged to report an increase in the cost of their prescription drugs to the division one of three ways:
Call 888-877-4894 (toll free)
Visit dfr.oregon.gov/drugtransparency (online reporting form available later this month)
“This is the first step in holding the pharmaceutical industry accountable,” says Mark Griffith, President of Oregon Coalition for Affordable Prescriptions (OCAP), the nonprofit that worked to pass HB 4005 last year. “It’s important that Oregonians start reporting their price increases so that lawmakers know what’s really happening. Then we’ll see lawmakers moving forward on bills that will lower prices and hold pharmaceutical companies accountable.”
Legislation currently being considered by lawmakers in Salem includes HB 2689 and SB 409, designed to allow importation of lower-cost, identical quality prescriptions from Canada; HB 2658, which would require pharmaceutical manufacturers to give 60-day advance notice of price increases; and HB 2961, which would require pharmaceutical companies to include the list price of medications in all advertisements.
“This is an important victory,” says Rep. Rob Nosse (D-Portland), one of the chief sponsors of the Prescription Drug Pricing Transparency Act. “It will soon become clear that drug manufacturers are the culprits behind skyrocketing costs.”
Rep. Nosse also says that Oregonians also need immediate relief from high prescription costs and can’t afford to wait for reports to be tallied.
“People are cutting their pills in half, rationing insulin, and going bankrupt to pay for medication they need. It’s outrageous. That’s why we’re also working on bills that will provide immediate relief, like importation from Canada and 60-day notice.”
Oregon Coalition for Affordable Prescriptions (OCAP) is a nonprofit organization fighting to lower prescription drug prices. Learn more at affordablerxnow.org.