Legislators Announce Accountability Plan for Excessive Prescription Drug Costs

Madison: At a Capitol news conference yesterday State Representatives Debra Kolste, with State Rep. Melissa Sargent and members of Citizen Action of Wisconsin, announced a new bill which requires greater accountability from the pharmaceutical industry for drug pricing and gathers the information necessary to get to the bottom of excessive costs. The bill also requires the state to use the information to develop a strategy to reduce excessive costs for high value drugs needed for chronic diseases and the treatment of life threatening conditions, including negotiating with the drug industry for lower prices.

A recording of a media call on the legislation is available here. The draft legislation can be accessed here.

The Walker Administration has proposed no plan for addressing the skyrocketing cost of prescription drugs, despite prices increasing over 10% in 2015 alone, the third consecutive year of double digit increases. Overall, Wisconsin has the second highest medical costs in the U.S. following only Alaska. Research by Citizen Action of Wisconsin has shown that what consumers pay in drug deductibles vary by hundreds to thousands of dollars between different regions of the state.

Recent studies show that public legislative scrutiny of high drug prices have caused manufacturers to voluntarily reduce the cost of many prescription drugs.

“The public is outraged by pharmaceutical industry profiteers who are charging outrageous prices for drugs vital for the treatment of chronic and life threatening diseases,” said Robert Kraig, Executive Director of Citizen Action of Wisconsin. “To be priced out of vital medicine by multinational corporations seeking windfall profits is a denial of the basic freedom to live a healthy and fulfilling life. This legislation is a step towards balancing the interests of consumers and the pharmaceutical industry.”

Media Contacts

Kevin Kane (414) 550-8280, kevin.kane@citizenactionwi.org

Robert Kraig (414) 322-5324, robert.kraig@citizenactionwi.org

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