Representative Subeck Applauds Governor’s Plan to Reduce Prescription Drug Prices
Plan Includes Recommendations from Task Force on Reducing Prescription Drug Prices
MADISON – Today, Governor Evers announced the first of his 2021-23 biennial budget priorities, a comprehensive plan to address soaring prescription drug prices. The governor’s proposal builds on the work of the task force he created in 2019 which brought stakeholders together to tackle the issue of skyrocketing prescription prices. Representative Lisa Subeck (D-Madison), a member of the Governor's Task Force on Reducing Prescription Drug Prices, released the following statement on the governor’s proposal:
“All Wisconsinites need and deserve access to affordable healthcare, including prescription drugs. Too many families and seniors are forced to choose between buying food and paying for the medications they or their children need. No one should be forced to risk their health or life by skipping doses because they cannot afford to refill a prescription.
Serving on the Governor’s Task Force on Reducing Prescription Drug Prices, I heard from people across the state who struggle to pay for their medications. These recommendations developed by the task force and included in the governor’s plan will provide real relief to the hardworking individuals, families, and seniors who need it most.
The plan released today focuses on reducing and controlling costs, greater transparency for consumers, and ensuring access for all Wisconsin citizens. As we consider the 2021-23 budget, I urge my colleagues in the Legislature to support the work of the task force by advancing the Governor’s plan to reduce prescription drug prices.”
Governor Evers’s plan includes:
Lowering Prices and Controlling Costs
- Creating a Prescription Drug Affordability Review Board to establish prescription drug spending targets for public sector entities and establishing price limits;
- Creating a Prescription Drug Importation Program that would allow the state to import drugs that would create substantial savings for Wisconsin consumers and taxpayers;
- Providing the state with the authority to study, develop, and pursue a State Prescription Drug Purchasing Entity allowing state and local collaboration to combine and leverage purchasing power to reduce the cost of prescription drugs and save taxpayer dollars;
- Improving the Wisconsin Drug Repository Program by streamlining processes and allowing partnerships;
- Ending discriminatory reimbursement practices toward 340B programs;
- Under certain circumstances, requiring insurers to apply discounts and coupons utilized by consumers to deductibles and annual out-of-pocket maximums; and
- Creating a Patient Pharmacy Benefit Tool to help prescribers take out-of-pocket costs into consideration when choosing between medically-similar medication options.
Increasing Transparency and Protecting Consumers
- Creating the Office of Prescription Drug Affordability to oversee and regulate the pharmaceutical supply chain and serve as a watchdog for Wisconsin consumers;
- Increasing consumer protections for Wisconsinites from attempts to artificially raise prices or mislead consumers through deceptive marketing and advertising practices;
- Requiring transparency and reporting across the prescription drug supply chain, from manufacturers and pharmacy benefit managers (PBMs) to pharmacy services administration organizations (PSAOs) and health plans; and
- Providing oversight and requiting reporting or licensing for PBMs, PSAOs, PBM brokers and consultants, and Pharmaceutical Sales Representatives.
Ensuring Access for Wisconsin's Most Vulnerable
- Establishing a $50 copay cap on insulin to ensure insulin is affordable for all Wisconsinites;
- Creating an Insulin Safety Net Program to ensure folks never need to choose between rationing insulin and meeting other basic needs;
- Establishing an innovative pilot program aimed at developing a value-based formulary for diabetes medication;
- Increasing funding for free and charitable clinics by $4 million over the biennium;
- Encouraging pharmacists to volunteer at clinics providing no-cost care to Wisconsin's most vulnerable, strengthening the healthcare workforce to improve access; and
- Eliminating BadgerCare prescription drug copayments to make the prescription drug benefit more accessible.
Rep. Subeck has represented the 78th Assembly District since 2015 and serves as vice-chair of the Assembly Democratic Caucus.