States passing record number of laws to control drug pricing

A record number of laws have been passed by states this year to increase affordability and access to prescription drugs, according to Kaiser Health News.

So far this year, 33 states have passed 51 laws regarding drug pricing, and more could come before the end of the year. New Jersey alone has 20 proposed laws currently under consideration.

The previous record was set in 2018, with 28 states passing 45 laws, according to the National Academy for State Health Policy.

At least 16 states have passed 20 laws governing the behavior of pharmacy benefit managers. Most of the new laws include additional gag clause limitations beyond the 2018 federal law banning the clauses in pharmacy contracts.

Four states — Colorado, Florida, Maine and Vermont — have passed laws to establish programs to import cheaper prescriptions from Canada, and in Florida's case, potentially other countries. Six other states are also considering similar legislation, according to Kaiser Health News.

Maryland and Maine passed laws to establish state agencies to review drug price increases and set limits on how much state and local governments pay for high cost drugs. The agencies will also take action against drugmakers whose price increases go beyond a specific threshold. New Jersey and Massachusetts are also considering similar legislation.

Colorado, Oregon, Texas and Washington passed laws this year that require drug companies to provide information to states and consumers on the list price of drugs and planned price increases.

Though states are taking action to combat excessive drug pricing, Kaiser Health News notes that federal legislation is still necessary to have a major effect on the way the marketplace works.

Read the full report here.

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