In 2018, OSPIRG supported passage of the landmark Prescription Drug Price Transparency Act (HB 4005). Prescription drug prices are out of control. Over the last five years, drug prices have increased at ten times the rate of inflation, inspiring public outrage, extensive congressional hearings, and proposed legislation in all 50 states.
A big part of why drug companies can get away with price gouging is the near total lack of transparency in pricing. The Prescription Drug Price Transparency Act requires prescription drug manufacturers to explain where all the money goes when they increase prices - an important first step towards understanding out-of-control costs.
While the law requires extensive reporting from drug companies, the state needs to know when prices increase in order to effectively enforce these requirements. Because of this, the law allows consumers to report drug price increases they experience. This past month, the state system for reporting drug price went live.
All Oregonians are encouraged to report an increase in the cost of their prescription drugs to the Oregon Department of Consumer and Business Services one of three ways:
This is a real opportunity for consumers to take action and help hold drug companies accountable for unjustified price increases. OSPIRG encourages consumers to report price increases on their prescriptions to the state whenever possible.
This year, OSPIRG is working on further legislation that could bring more transparency to drug pricing and real relief to Oregon consumers who rely on high-priced specialty drugs. We are supporting bills that would require drug companies to give 60-days advance warning before raising prices, and to disclose the list price of drugs in advertising. We are also supporting bills that would open up a safe supply of lower-cost FDA-approved drugs from Canada.
However, to persuade legislators of the importance of these policies, we need to highlight the continuing problem of drug price increases. By reporting price increases, everyday Oregonians can raise government awareness of the issue and help us fight for greater change.