Drug Transparency Laws Fall Short, USC Study Finds

October 28, 2019

Most enacted drug transparency laws are flawed because they don’t require the release of transaction prices at each stage of the pharmaceutical distribution process, according to researchers at the University of Southern California.

A study by USC’s Center for Health Policy and Economics found that, out of the 166 drug pricing bills enacted between 2015 and 2018, only seven bills passed in six states — Nevada, Oregon, Connecticut, Louisiana, Maine and Vermont —were actually “informative.”

The study found that no state passed laws that together target more than three of five possible stages — manufacturers, insurers, pharmacies, pharmacy benefit managers, and wholesalers. None of the laws reveal the true transaction prices or profits across all five points, the study says.

To target points in the distribution system that make excess profits, drug price legislation should include reporting of all transaction price information from all five stages of the drug distribution system, the USC researchers said.

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