LANSING, Mich. (Feb. 24, 2022) — Michigan would join a growing number of states tackling the rising costs of prescription drugs by creating a Prescription Drug Affordability Board under bicameral legislation introduced today.
“The cost of prescription drugs has been rising for far too long. Establishing a Michigan Prescription Drug Affordability Board can directly reduce costs because it will act with the necessary oversight and transparency to do so,” said Sen. Winnie Brinks (D-Grand Rapids). “The legislation unveiled today is a key component to helping those most at the mercy of these high prices — consumers — as well as other actors in the prescription drug supply chain who play a role in the final price we pay. Ultimately, this will rein in exorbitant prices and help get these prescription drugs to more people who need them.”
The bicameral legislation introduced today would:
- Establish drug affordability review boards to determine certain rates, set spending targets, and limit how much residents pay for certain high-cost drugs
- Senate Bill 889 by Sen. Brinks, and House Bill 5842 by Rep. Darrin Camilleri (D-Trenton)
- Amend the Insurance Code
- Senate Bill 891 by Sen. Marshall Bullock (D-Detroit), and House Bill 5843 by Rep. David LaGrand (D-Grand Rapids)
- Amend the Social Welfare Act
- Senate Bill 892 by Sen. Mallory McMorrow (D-Royal Oak), and House Bill 5844 by Rep. Kevin Hertel (D-St. Clair Shores)
- Allow the Michigan Department of Insurance and Financial Services director to decide how much to increase the fees by, with the difference being used to cover the administrative costs of the board
- Senate Bill 890 by Sen. Dayna Polehanki (D-Livonia), and House Bill 5845 by Rep. Padma Kuppa (D-Troy)
“To have some peace of mind when it comes to the cost of prescription drugs, regardless of whether you have insurance or not, would be of great benefit to myself and millions of other Americans,” said Sheila Nicholas, an Okemos resident. “Our prescriptions are necessary to our well-being. They should not be so unattainable for so many.”
Maryland was the first state in the country to adopt a Prescription Drug Affordability Board. Other states — including Colorado, New Jersey, and now Michigan — are introducing legislation to establish such a board.
“Too many families are dealing with what they will sacrifice in order to pay for the high cost of prescription drugs,” Rep. Camilleri said. “Michigan families shouldn’t be forced to make those trade-offs. We can have affordable prescription drugs if we focus on solutions like this board.”
“Physicians know the medications we prescribe will improve the health of a patient and potentially save their lives, yet cost remains a major barrier in people obtaining those needed medications,” added family medicine specialist, Harshini Jayasuriya, M.D. “Patients shouldn’t have to choose between the medicines they need and paying for other bills, groceries, and rent. Michiganders need real relief and I applaud this group of lawmakers for tackling prescription drug affordability head on.”