Like a legislative game of whack-a-mole, lawmakers in yet another state are pushing a pair of bills that would force drug makers to reveal their costs. Although similar efforts have either failed or stalled in 10 other states, Virginia is now the latest venue where legislators hope a law will provide some transparency into the drug pricing process.
Companion bills were introduced in the Virginia House and Senate last month to require drug makers to provide detailed information for each medicine sold with a wholesale cost of $10,000 or more for a single course of treatment. This would include costs for R&D, manufacturing and marketing, as well as price changes, profits, and financial assistance for consumers. Data would appear on a public website.
The move reflects growing frustration with the rising cost of pharmaceuticals across the nation. About three-quarters of the American public believe the prices of brand-name medicines are unreasonable, while 26 percent expressed that view about generics, according to a recent poll by STAT and the Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health.