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Pennsylvania House of Representatives
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House Co-Sponsorship Memoranda

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House of Representatives
Session of 2019 - 2020 Regular Session


Posted: February 27, 2020 11:30 AM
From: Representative Michael J. Puskaric
To: All House members
Subject: Pharmaceutical Transparency Review Act Legislation
Currently, many Pennsylvanians are faced with unexplained and rapidly rising costs of prescription drugs, especially seniors and people with common, easily treatable medical conditions like diabetes and asthma. The most common brand name drugs have outpaced inflation, on average, by nearly 8-fold with double-digit increases between 2012 and 2016. It is also commonly acknowledged that the United States pays more for that same pharmaceuticals than any other country in the world. This not only hurts everyday Pennsylvanians, but also places enormous strain on our state budget and burdens other purchasers, like our local hospitals.

In the coming weeks, I will be introducing a bill that would help everyday individuals, lawmakers, and the commonwealth understand why drugs with high prices increase rapidly or common drugs create affordability burdens by providing relevant data and analysis to the General Assembly and public. This would provide accountability for our public spending in this area and support more informed decision making.

This legislation, the Pharmaceutical Transparency Review Act, would create an independent board staffed by experts free of conflicts of interest who would receive from drug manufacturers data on specific drugs that meet threshold triggers, analyze that data, and compile recommendations for the General Assembly. Pennsylvania already reviews similar information on insurance and utility rates.

Data collected would include information related to research and development, manufacturing and distribution, marketing and advertising, rebates, patient assistance programs, and historical price increases. This data would be protected to maintain competitive advantage. While some of this data is already available, Pennsylvania currently lacks the existing capacity to bring it together and analyze it to the benefit of lawmakers and their constituents. No taxpayer dollars would be used in this endeavor.

Multiple other states have passed similar legislation and expect success.

Please join me in co-sponsoring this important bill to provide greater transparency in costs related to the pricing of prescription pharmaceuticals.

Introduced as HB2426