Senate Legislation Would Lower Costs of Prescription Drugs

Equality Michigan Action Network announces support of the proposed Prescription Drug Affordability Board, which will tackle crisis of skyrocketing cost of prescription drugs.

LANSING, Mich. (Sept. 11, 2023) — The high cost of prescription drugs is a growing crisis for many Michigan residents while big pharmaceutical companies rake in profits with little accountability.

Lifesaving medications are increasingly unaffordable for the average Michigan resident because the price of prescription drugs consistently rises faster than inflation and other consumer goods. This means many Michiganders are often forced to choose between buying food for their families or prescription medicine. According to an AARP Rx Price Watch report, the increases in prescription drug prices have consistently exceeded the general inflation rate since 2006. Between 2019 to 2020, they increased by 4.8%, more than three-and-a-half times higher than general inflation at 1.3%.

Nobody should have to make the choice between food and life-saving prescription medication. But according to the Williams Institute, LGBTQ+ Americans are disproportionately impacted by high prescription drug costs. Nearly a third of Michigan residents have stopped taking their prescriptions because of the high cost.

Michigan has an opportunity to act on this important proposal to create an independent, public board of experts to research, review and establish payment limits on the most expensive prescription drugs currently on the market. A half dozen other states have already established a board to set upper payment price limits on the most expensive prescription drugs. Michigan should be next.

On Tuesday, Sept. 12, a group of Michigan Senators introduced landmark legislation to create a Prescription Drug Affordability Board (PDAB) in Michigan — an independent body that will set upper payment limits on prescriptions and hold Big Pharma accountable so Michigan residents can afford their life-saving medications. Gov. Gretchen Whitmer called for the creation of a PDAB in her recent “What’s Next” address.

SB 483; Pharmaceuticals: Creates prescription drug cost and affordability review Act. Sponsor: Sen. Camilleri

SB 484; Health Insurers: Requires compliance with the prescription drug cost and affordability review act. Sponsor: Sen. Klinefelt

SB 485; Medical Services: Requires compliance with the prescription drug cost and affordability review act. Sponsor: Sen. McDonald Rivet

Equality Michigan Action Network stands in strong support of the introduction of the Prescription Drug Affordability Board and signed on to the coalition letter in support of this legislation. We encourage the Michigan House and Senate to swiftly pass this legislation to lower drug costs in Michigan and help our fellow citizens afford the medicine they need.

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