Senate Bills 483-485, sponsored by Senators Darrin Camilleri (D-Trenton), Kristen McDonald Rivet (D-Bay City), and Veronica Klinefelt (D-Eastpointe), would establish an independent Prescription Drug Affordability Board (PDAB) in Michigan. This board will play a crucial role in reducing prescription drug costs for all consumers.

With public input and in consultation with the council (which includes industry experts) the Board would have the authority to review prescription drug costs and evaluate their impact on Michiganders, to bring greater transparency. Members of the PDAB would research and review certain drug that may present affordability challenges to patients, employers and the state, and would have the power to establish upper payment limits (UPL) on the most expensive prescription drugs.  

In a Senate Committee Hearing on Sept. 20, advocates testified. Here’s what some of them had to say: 

“An average of 1 in 4 insulin patients have had to ration their life-saving medication. I have fallen into that statistic at various points in my life for reasons as trivial as a paperwork error. In the past I have spent a significant amount of time helping to organize mutual aid with a network of diabetics across the country. We crowdsource for insulin and related financial needs, and in doing so, we keep each other alive. This is not our job. We don’t have a choice. For all of us the option is: Pay up or die.” — Sarah Stark, Michigan resident 

“I’m asking you to stand up for my patients and their families. These are people you may know personally who couldn’t afford the medication they need to be healthy or even stay alive. These may even be the families from the rare disease organizations who are terrified by Big Pharma’s threats to take away the drugs upon which they depend. They’re hostages to the very status quo that Big Pharma props up to keep raking in massive profits.” — Robert Davidson, The Committee to Protect Healthcare 

“I have deep respect for the work of the pharmaceutical industry, but the business model is broken, and I do not see a path forward other than public policy to address the market-wide problems and anti-consumer business models that have developed in response to rising drug prices…It is maddening really. All these business models are built around making money off drug prices. The only market participant without a profit-making business model is the consumer — the consumer who pays dearly for this dysfunction.” — Jane Horvath, Health Policy Expert 

“The PDAB will create common sense rules of the road so that the patients can be protected, rather than just the interests of drug company shareholders and CEOs.” — Justin Mendoza, Universities Allied for Essential Medicine

“Prescription drug costs consistently rise faster than other consumer goods, resulting in drugs that have become unaffordable for consumers and increased healthcare premiums for everyone. It is critical to work together to find solutions that address this important issue affecting healthcare affordability for Michigan Citizens.” — Dominick Pallone & Carrie Germain, Michigan Association of Health Plans

“R&D is a means to an end, and the end is people benefiting from the R&D and they should be able to access those benefits. So, what good is a medicine that people who need can’t afford it?” — State Senator Jeremy Moss (D-Southfield) 

Read more from the Michigan Senate Democrats at