- Ohio is proposing legislation that would limit drug prices to those the Veterans Administration pays, reports Employee Benefits News. The measure would help control spiraling drug prices pharmaceutical companies charge. A similar proposal failed in California.
- Ohio’s proposal is identical to California’s Prop 61, except for a Medicaid provision. Both proposals restrict the amount state agencies would pay for medicine and tie the amount to VA discounts.
- EBN says the Ohio proposal places no obligation on the drug companies to negotiate prices.
The question is whether drug companies would be willing to negotiate discounts on prices at all, let alone prices tied to VA discounts. Currently, pharmaceutical companies have no incentive for doing so, which is why some healthcare-pricing experts say the U.S. pays astronomical prices for medications.
Specialty pharmacy costs is a particular problems for employers, and was considered one of the top drivers of healthcare costs this year for the first time. State governments on both sides of the political spectrum have been taking an interest in the issue partly due to highly publicized price increases on common, often life-saving medications that brands like Epi-Pen sell.