IPMD Note: Oregon's newly proposed legislation is based on MD 2019 enacted legislation SB 669/HB 1095
A bipartisan group of Oregon lawmakers is backing a proposal to tackle unaffordable prescription drug prices that would go further than any other state in the nation.
Several legislatures around the country are considering or have looked into similar proposals to create drug-pricing boards this year, based on a milder version Maryland passed in 2019.
The possibility that the Oregon Legislature could vote on such a plan has attracted national political spending for and against it, most visibly in the form of digital and print ads paid for by the pharmaceutical industry.
Drug pricing control “hasn’t happened at the federal level so states are saying, ‘Let’s do something here, what we can,’” said Sen. Deb Patterson, a first-year Democrat from Salem and one of four sponsors of the bill. “Health care continues to be one of the most expensive parts of people’s budgets.”
Senate Bill 844 would create a state Prescription Drug Affordability Board with the power to set upper limits on how much Oregon buyers would be allowed to pay for particularly high-priced drugs. Payment limits would apply throughout the health care system, from wholesalers and pharmacies to physicians, hospitals and nursing homes, according to another bill sponsor, Rep. Rachel Prusak, a Democrat from West Linn. For patients, the proposal could reduce what they pay for high-priced drugs. Continue Reading