UPDATE: The Oregon Senate passed the drug price transparency bill today. The bill will now go to Governor Brown for signing into law. Once again the bill enjoyed broad bipartisan support, in a 25-4 vote.
SALEM, Ore. — A bill sponsored by both Democrats and Republicans, aimed at increasing transparency in prescription drug prices, passed the Oregon State House of Representatives today. 46 voted in favor, while 14 opposed the bill.
If the bill is passed by the Senate and signed into law, it will require drug companies to report their costs for development and marketing their products—allowing lawmakers to determine how much of the price is markup. The Department of Consumer and Business Services will be in charge of overseeing drug prices and comparing them to the reports from drug companies.
That department will also have oversight on health insurance companies that offer prescription drug benefits. Insurers will have to identify the effect of drug prices on their premium rates.
Drug companies that cannot or will not demonstrate that their drug prices are reasonably derived from the amounts that they've spent on research and marketing can be subject to civil penalties from the Department of Consumer and Business services.
According to lawmakers, the purpose of the bill is to reach understanding about why drug costs in the US seem so much higher in comparison to similar countries, such as Canada.
These reports from drug companies will only be required if the base cost of the drug is $100 or more, and the price increases by 10 percent or more in a year.