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.
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.
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
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.
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.
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.
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.