MN legislature to look at prescription drug prices
MINNEAPOLIS (AP) — Minnesota lawmakers want to create an independent board to regulate excessive prescription drug prices following a bipartisan effort last year to make insulin more affordable.
The legislation, authored by Rep. Kelly Morrison, of Deephaven, would establish an independent Prescription Drug Affordability Board and an advisory council that would review the costs of new brand name prescription drugs. The board — seven members appointed by the governor and lawmakers — would set upper payment limits for the prices of drugs it determines are unaffordable to ensure purchasers and government programs can afford to provide the drug to those who need it.
In a news conference prior to the bill’s first hearing, Morrison said that prescription drugs only work if people can afford them…
“Across the state we know that out of control prescription drug costs are a huge issue for Minnesotans and their ability to both survive and thrive. One in five Minnesotans had to forego prescription medicine in the past year due to cost, and that was in the midst of a global pandemic when people were already suffering economically. Drugs don’t work when people can’t afford them.”
The board would use input from the advisory council, as well as public comment and justifications from drug manufacturers, to determine the upper payment limit.
The legislation follows the Alec Smith Insulin Affordability Act passed last spring, which established a safety net program for diabetics who can’t afford the live-saving drug.