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Senate of Pennsylvania
Session of 2023 - 2024 Regular Session


Posted: December 5, 2022 10:50 AM
From: Senator Vincent J. Hughes
To: All Senate members
Subject: Prescription Drug Cost Transparency
In the near future, I plan to introduce legislation that would help Pennsylvanians make more informed decisions when purchasing their prescription medications.

Most Pennsylvanians with prescription drug coverage can save money at a pharmacy by using their insurance. In some cases, however, it can be cheaper to purchase a drug out of pocket. On the flip side, too many individuals without health insurance are foregoing life-sustaining medications. Insurance can be pricey, but our state health-exchange, Pennie, has many affordable options that can save people money and allow them to purchase the medicine they need.

In light of this, my legislation would require pharmacies to disclose the following information prior to the sale of prescription medications:
  1. The full retail price of the prescription medication.
  2. The individual’s cost-sharing amount, or co-pay, when applicable, in comparison to the full retail price.
  3. The median cost-sharing amount from insurance plans on the state’s health exchange within the county where the pharmacy is located, in comparison to the full retail price.
  4. Information as to how and where the consumer can purchase the insurance plan that has the median cost-sharing amount or comparable coverage.
While certain pharmacies already disclose some of the information above, they are not required to. Mandating the disclosure of this information prior to the point-of-sale will help to ensure that all Pennsylvanians have the opportunity to make cost-effective decisions when purchasing prescription drugs. Doing so can help to lower out-of-pocket expenses for prescription medications, generate a better understanding of the value of insurance coverage, and increase rates of coverage within the Commonwealth.

My legislation draws on a proposal that was recently enacted in Illinois on prescription drug pricing transparency. More can, and should, be done to help lower health-care costs for Pennsylvanians.

Please join me in sponsoring this legislation in an effort to achieve that end. If you have any questions, please contact my office.

Introduced as SB62