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Rep. Vaupel calls for transparency in drug prices

Measure would require more oversight of prescription drug manufacturers

State Rep. Hank Vaupel delivered testimony before the House Health Policy Committee in support of legislation he introduced to make prescription drug prices more transparent.

“People should not have to ration their health care, or other aspects of their life, in order to afford essential medicine that saves or drastically improves their lives,” said Vaupel, of Fowlerville, who serves as chair of the Health Policy Committee.

Prescription drug prices have increased astronomically over the last few years. In 2016, drug price increases accounted for 100 percent of net earnings for major pharmaceutical companies: a net income of $8.7 billion. These increases have continued to catch the attention of state legislatures.  Thirty-six bills have been introduced in 24 states as of February 2018.

Vaupel’s proposed solution would reveal the true costs behind manufacturing drugs and bringing them to market by requiring pharmaceutical manufacturers to report to the Department of Health and Human Services any factors related to prescription drugs with an annual cost of $10,000 or more.

The committee will vote on the measure in the coming weeks.

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