Michigan Dems push for action on prescription drug board bills

By Michigan Advance

April 23, 2024


MICHIGAN—Four Democratic House members are renewing the call for action on prescription drug affordability, sharing support for three bills awaiting action on the House floor.

During a Friday town hall in Royal Oak, state Reps. Sharon MacDonell (D-Troy), Natalie Price (D-Berkley), Helena Scott (D-Detroit) and Regina Weiss (D-Oak Park) spoke in favor of creating a prescription drug affordability board (PDAB), which would be able to set upper limits on drug costs in the state.

Democratic members of the Michigan Senate advanced three bills to create a PDAB in October, but the bills have yet to see action in the House. They are currently awaiting a hearing in the House Insurance and Financial Services Committee.

Gov. Gretchen Whitmer listed the creation of a prescription drug affordability board as a priority in August, citing recommendations from the state’s bipartisan Prescription Drugs Task Force.

The board would be made up of five members appointed by the governor with expertise in health care economics, health policy, health equity and clinical medicine who do not have a personal or financial interest in the pharmaceutical industry.

The board would be advised by a 21-member council of stakeholders. While all members of the council must be appointed by the Governor, seven members must be appointed from a list of nominees submitted by the Speaker of the House, and another seven must be appointed from a list of nominees submitted by the Senate majority leader.

“A PDAB would bring decisions about the cost of medication out in the open,” Scott said in a statement. “The [drug] companies would have to present their data and justification for the skyrocketing costs they want consumers to pay. After looking at all the facts, hearing all the testimony — for and against — this independent board of experts will decide in a public meeting whether that cost is truly affordable.”

Members of the AARP, Universities Allied for Essential Medicines, and the Michigan League for Public Policy also shared their support for a prescription drug affordability board.

“The high cost of prescription drugs is a growing crisis for many Michigan residents while big pharmaceutical companies continue to reap record profits with little accountability – the data is clear,” Monique Stanton, president and CEO of the Michigan League for Public Policy said in a statement.

“This legislation gives Michigan a real opportunity to follow the lead of several other states in establishing an independent board of experts that can use evidence-backed research to successfully set upper payment limits for the most expensive prescription drugs on the market,” Stanton said.

READ MORE: Dems to stop big pharma from gouging Michiganders for drugs

This coverage was republished from Michigan Advance pursuant to a Creative Commons license.




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