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SALEM - Oregon’s Prescription Drug Transparency Program, created by the 2018 Drug Price Transparency Act (HB 4005), released its first annual report this week. The report summarizes the program’s findings after six months of collecting information from health insurers, consumers, and drug manufacturers. The program is run by the Department of Consumer and Business Services (“DCBS”).
The report found that, on average, the price of drugs for Oregonians is five times the highest international price. It also found that biologic products and brand name drugs are the biggest cost-drivers. Finally, the report discussed options to improve the program. It also describes the drug pricing policies being pursued in other states, as over 880 bills were filed in 2019 targeting the high price of prescription drugs. This list included expanded importation of prescriptions from Canada, and the establishment of Drug Affordability Review Boards.
OSPIRG’s health care advocate, Numi Lee Griffith, issued the following statement regarding the report: “This report is the first fruit of Oregon’s landmark drug price transparency law, but it largely shows what we already know: drugs are too expensive and Oregon consumers need real relief. It’s outrageous that we’re paying, on average, five times more for prescriptions than the highest price in other countries.”
She continued, “For this program to succeed, DCBS will need to challenge the trade secret claims most reporting manufacturers have made to avoid disclosing their profits and other critical data. Only genuine trade secrets should be protected, and drug manufacturers have clearly demonstrated we cannot take them at their word. In the meantime, we need real policy solutions like expanded importation of prescription drugs to bring relief to Oregon patients”
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