LANSING, Mich. — Sen. Steve Bieda (D–Warren) introduced legislation that would require pharmaceutical companies to be more transparent about how they price prescription drugs.

Senate Bill 825, or “The Sunshine Act,” stipulates that for every drug available in Michigan that has a wholesale acquisition cost of $40 or more, drug manufacturers would be required to submit an annual report — including information such as the amount of money the manufacturer paid for research and development, clinical trials, and marketing and advertising — to the Michigan Department of Insurance and Financial Services that clarifies how the drug was priced.

“The cost of prescription drugs in Michigan is much higher than what patients pay in other countries,” Sen. Bieda said. “We’ve allowed Big Pharma CEOs to take advantage of people’s health needs to make lucrative profits, it’s not right, and it’s why I’m working to change this.”

SB 825 also calls for a workgroup to be established and made up of consumers, pharmacists, representatives of the pharmaceutical industry, and health plan representatives and tasked with generating a standardized reporting form.

Michigan citizens pay the fifth-highest drug prices in the nation, and prices are continuing to rise. The price of pharmaceuticals is far outpacing inflation and other areas of the health care sector. While other state governments around the country are working day and night to find solutions to astronomical drug prices, Michigan is still one of a number of states that hasn’t found a solution.

“Hardworking Michigan families are sacrificing their livelihoods for the bottom lines of these pharmaceutical corporations, and in some cases, they can’t even afford the medication they need,” Sen. Bieda said. “People should not have to go bankrupt trying to take care of themselves.”

This problem has impacted communities all over the state, including Sen. Bieda’s district of Macomb County where, in 2017, more than 400 people died from drug overdoses. Instead of medications becoming more affordable, some — such as Naloxone, a lifesaving drug that helps people survive opioid overdoses — has skyrocketed from 92 cents to more than $2,000 a dose.