By Elizabeth Hayes, Staff Reporter
Portland Business Journal
Rep. Rob Nosse, undeterred by the failure of his comprehensive prescription drug pricing bill last year, returned the House Health Care Committee on Monday to sell a new, slimmed down version.
House Bill 4005 would force more transparency on drug manufacturers, but it doesn’t specifically impose price controls. Nosse hopes that will make it an easier sell. The Portland Democrat has bipartisan support this time around.
“House Bill 4005 moves forward on one of the most essential elements of that prior effort, which is transparency, because at the end of the day, the problem is price, and we don’t know enough about how prescription drug prices are set in the United States,” Nosse told the committee, of which he’s vice chair.
Chair Mitch Greenlick carried over the discussion to a Wednesday hearing, but not before taking testimony from basically the same supporters and detractors on last year’s bill. Pharmaceutical manufacturers and the Oregon bioscience community, as well as patient groups, are again lined up against. Consumer advocates, hospitals, unions, nurses, individual patients and health insurers voiced support…
The Oregon Bioscience Association opposes the bill because it takes on drug makers but not pharmacy benefits managers, insurers and other entities that contribute to prescription drug costs.
“The legislation singles out one sliver of the health care sector and there’s no real consideration of the complex cost equation at hand,” said Director Denise McCarty. “Oregon Bio is committed to having a constructive dialogue. HB 4005 doesn’t achieve any of those goals.”