There has been a new twist in the drug pricing transparency conversation this year. Some states are now beginning to look at the practice of spread pricing, with New York leading the charge. Also, Arkansas and Louisiana are using their regulatory regimes to gather data on spread pricing practices by PBMs.
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Additionally, manufacturer pricing is coming under increased scrutiny. Price-gouging bills that address manufacturer pricing practices, as well as other elements of the drug supply chain, are becoming more common. There are currently 23 price-gouging bills that we are actively tracking. There has been no significant movement on these bills yet, but as the desire to tackle drug prices grows, these bills could start garnering more attention and support.
While we expect other issues to emerge, such as non-medical switching, it is still relatively early in the legislative process since many legislatures run in two year sessions. Political fortunes in 2019 can change rapidly, so it is more important than ever for the rheumatology community to be prepared and engaged. “Success occurs when opportunity meets preparation,” so we must remain vigilant, prepared and ready to seize the opportunities that lie ahead.
You can personally help move these issues forward for your practice and patients by getting involved with your state or local rheumatology society and responding to ACR action alerts specific to your state.