Rein in Abusive Drug Industry Marketing Practices

While DC Delays, States Move Forward on Health Care Reforms

As Congress delays moving forward on the passage of comprehensive health care reform, progressive state leaders from across the country have been demanding passage of reform as critical for families across the nation.  But that doesn't mean they are waiting; state leaders are moving forward, laying the groundwork for how national changes should be implemented, and creating the momentum for other meaningful health care reforms in their states.

"Prescriber Education Service" - Ensure Safety and Accuracy in Prescribing Decisions: Key Facts, Polling, Best Practices

Policy Overview: Establish a Prescriber Education Program, or “academic detailing” initiative, for the dissemination of scientific and clinical data about the effectiveness and costs of pharmaceuticals and medical devices. Such a program can reduce state health care costs and improve medical quality. States have several options for funding education programs outside of the general fund, including a fee on manufacturers and federal grants.

“Gift Ban and Disclosure” — Reduce Costs, Ensure Safety and Accuracy in Prescribing Decisions: Key Facts, Polling, Best Practic

Policy Overview:  Require the industry to disclose information about advertising and marketing spending, and prohibit gifts and payments to health care practitioners from pharmaceutical and medical device manufacturers.

"PBMs” — Protect Against Unfair Drug Industry Practices: Key Facts, Polling, Best Practices

Policy Overview:  Regulate Pharmacy Benefits Managers (PBMs), who act as middlemen between drug manufacturers and public and private health plans, negotiating prices for prescription drugs. The PBM industry is highly corruptible and lax oversight of PBM practices has resulted in ethical lapses and instances of PBMs pocketing discounts they negotiated for health plans, rather than forwarding discounts through to clients.  Require transparency, a fiduciary relationship, and annual audits of all PBMs to ensure that the full value of negotiated discounts, rebates, or other financial considerations are passed through. 

"340B" - Access Reduced Drug Prices: Key Facts, Polling, Best Practices

Policy Overview:  Create a task force to study and report how best to maximize participation in 340B pricing, a provision of the Federal Public Health Act that authorizes discounted drug prices (below Medicaid levels) for certain populations and safety net health care providers, like rural hospitals, federally qualified health centers and prison populations.  States have numerous options that should be studied and explored to ensure that populations and programs eligible for 340B pricing are receiving the reduced prices, resulting in savings for state budgets and consumers.

Rx Reforms to Address Budget Deficits and Ensure Quality of Medications

As part of our Shared Multi-State Agenda, the Progressive States Network is working with legislators, advocates and leading experts to promote Rx reforms in 2010 that will reduce health care costs for consumers, businesses, and state and local governments, and will help ensure access to safe and effective medications.  Through coordinated, strategic support, PSN and our allies will be working to introduce and advance Rx reforms that will help address state budget deficits and improve access to quality medications in as many states possible; providing model legislation, policy analysis, messaging and more - all of which has been gathered and will be constantly updated on our Prescription Drug Reform Shared Agenda web page.

Prescription Drug Marketing and Safety Policy Guide

Policy Overview: To reap its record profits and drive up costs for families, businesses, and government health programs, the pharmaceutical industry markets the most expensive “celebrity” drugs over other medications that are equally or more effective and less costly.