State Rep. Greg Markkanen of Hancock votes to finalize a plan to reduce the cost of prescription drugs for UP House residents, families and seniors Bill 4348 focuses on lowering prices drugs by tackling the uncontrollable nature of pharmacy profit managers (PBMs).
PBMs are an unregulated industry in Michigan that can manipulate drug prices to increase profits while consumers see no savings. By establishing a regulatory framework, the plan adds layers of transparency and accountability within the industry so that drugmaker rebates are more likely to be passed on to patients and health plans.
Manipulating drug prices allowed middlemen to overcharge Michigan Medicaid by at least $64 million, according to a 2019 report from the Michigan Pharmacists Association.
“The average price of drugs to treat diabetes, depression and other common conditions has more than doubled over the past six years,” Markkanen said. “People continue to see drug prices rise despite these record profits and it forces them to make tough choices and difficult financial decisions.
“Everyone who needs these types of prescriptions to live a happier, healthier life should be able to access them – and I will continue to support measures that help ensure this.”
After approval in the Michigan House and Senate, HB 4348 is now moving forward to the governor’s office for consideration.