Governor’s Task Force on Reducing Rx Drug Prices Crafts Policy Recommendations

August 27, 2020

The Governor’s Task Force on Reducing Prescription Drug Prices met for the final time on August 25, working through a compendium of policy options related to prescription drug costs as presented to the task force by its members and other experts. 
Some of the major items tentatively receiving majority support by the Task Force include:
  • Endorsing the provisions in 2019 AB 114, as amended by the Assembly. This bill places requirements on pharmacy benefit managers (PBMs) such as state licensure, prohibiting gag clauses (when a PBM prohibits a pharmacy from notifying a consumer of an out-of-plan, cheaper option to purchase a drug), rebate transparency, and setting standards for PBM audits of pharmacies.
  • Exploring efforts to create physician access within electronic health records to real-time prescription drug cost information.
  • Establishing a copay cap for insulin obtained through a commercial health plan.
  • Establishing additional transparency and reporting requirements by all entities within the drug supply chain.
  • Enhancing consumer protection oversight by creating more attorney positions within the Departments of Justice. 
  • Providing additional state support for free and charitable clinics.
  • Creating a centralized donated drug supply repository with real-time inventory reporting accessible by the free and charitable clinics that provide the drugs to their patients.
  • Ensuring that federal 340B entities use savings from the program to increase access to prescription drugs and provide critical community-based health programs for underserved individuals.
  • Creating a public sector prescription drug purchasing entity to coordinate and leverage the buying power of state agencies and other public sector purchasers.
  • Advocating for federal regulatory changes to address practices that delay the market entry of affordable generic equivalents and other market practices identified as drivers of prescription drug unaffordability.
  • Creating additional regulatory oversight (including potential licensure or registration) of Pharmacy Services Administrative Organizations.
The Office of the Commissioner of Insurance (OCI) will now synthesize the discussions and feedback received over the course of the eight task force meetings into a report for submission to the Governor in late September. For more information, contact WHA’s Laura Rose or Jon Hoelter.

This story originally appeared in the August 27, 2020 edition of WHA Newsletter