Year of Republican Inaction Costs Families Thousands

Republicans delay Democratic plan to hold prescription drug companies accountable for price gouging
Tuesday, August 21, 2018

LANSING — One year ago today House and Senate Democrats unveiled their plan to stop prescription drug price spikes in Michigan. The Democratic plan would create a Prescription Drug Consumer Protection Board and require drug manufacturers to provide justification for price spikes or be held accountable. Prescription drug costs are expected to rise by more than 6 percent a year over the next decade, costing Michiganders an additional $756 billion in unjustified price increases since the Democratic plan was introduced.

          “For too long, Legislative Republicans have given drug manufacturers free reign to spike prices on the medications Michiganders need to stay healthy. It’s time to put families first and hold greedy corporations accountable for unjustified price gouging,” said House Democratic Leader Sam Singh (D-East Lansing). “Democrats have been talking about our plan for a year, it’s time for House Republicans to do their jobs and work for working families.”

Despite Michigan families spending more than $12 billion last year on prescription drugs, and with major companies like Pfizer having already increase prices on certain medications by over 20 percent this year, legislation to create a consumer protection board and save the state’s families thousands has sat untouched in the Republican-controlled Legislature.

In order to protect Michigan families and their pocketbooks, House Bills 5690 and 5691 would:

  • Create a Prescription Drug Consumer Protection Board, consisting of 13 people, consumer health advocacy groups, a pharmacy benefit manager, health insurers and state department heads.
  • Require drug manufacturers to justify to the board any price increase above 12 percent over a period of 24 months.
  • Empower the Board to impose penalties of up to $100,000 per day for drug manufacturers that refuse to provide pricing information.
  • Request the state attorney general investigate any manufacturer that has charged excessive and unconscionable prices; and
  • Strengthen consumer protection tools that will allow the attorney general to aggressively pursue these bad actors to ensure that Michigan consumers are refunded for the excessive amounts they paid for their medicine.

The Prescription Drug Consumer Protection Board is part of the Democrats’ ongoing efforts to put Michigan families first and advance their Building Opportunity for All agenda. Additional components of the Democrats’ plan to make healthcare more affordable include ending Michigan’s last-in-the-nation drug immunity law, guaranteeing a $5 co-pay for all Michiganders, and protecting the state’s popular Healthy Michigan plan.