Sick of seemingly mysterious increases in the price of insulin?
So, apparently, are a majority of lawmakers in the Nevada state senate. Senators came together in rare bipartisan fashion to pass a bill aimed at providing transparency in insulin pricing.
Here is what the bill does:
It requires Nevada’s Department of Health and Human Services to make a list of the essential drugs for treating diabetes (including insulin and metformin), and who makes those drugs.
Drug manufacturers who make the list must provide the following info each year: the wholesale price of the drug, all costs associated with selling the drug (manufacturing, marketing, discount programs), profits from the drugs’ sales, amount of financial assistance provided to patients, and discounts provided to price benefit managers. That info would then be published online.
Drug makers must also provide 90-day notice before raising the price of essential diabetes drugs.
It also requires the drug makers to disclose the activities of their pharmacy sales representatives in the state.
The bill isn’t just about the drug companies, however. One provision would require Nevada nonprofit patient advocacy organizations and nonprofits that provide medical research funding to disclose payments and contributions made to them by the listed drugmakers.
This bill went through several drafts. The original language of the bill would have required drugmakers to reimburse insurers for the difference between the price they sell insulin in the U.S. and the price they sell insulin in other countries. Also, strangely, there was a big passage about life insurance regulation.
One somewhat random provision allows students in private schools to administer their own diabetes medications, with written permission. Previously, only students in public school were allowed to do that.
The bill now will go before the Nevada Assembly where it very well may be marked up and rewritten before a vote. That’s why the process of legislating is often called “sausage-making”.
The Assembly is expected to take up the bill on May 24th. We’ll keep you posted on how this bill progresses. If the bill passes the assembly, it must be signed by Governor Brian Sandoval before becoming law.
You can read the full text of the bill here.
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