OLYMPIA – On Thursday, Governor Inslee signed a bill to bring more transparency to prescription drug price increases. Rep. June Robinson (D-Everett) sponsored House Bill 1224 after hearing stories from constituents and in the news about sudden and dramatic increases in the cost of prescription drugs.
“No one should have to choose between buying food and buying the medicine they need to stay healthy,” said Rep. Robinson. “Many hardworking families are already struggling each month with the high cost of prescriptions. When a price increases suddenly, it can put those needed medications out of reach entirely, meaning people get sicker.”
While the cost of prescription drugs has been increasing for many years, several high profile drug price increases over the last year have, including the increase of the price of EpiPens, has brought focus to this issue.
House Bill 1224 will require drug manufacturers to report on price increases and provide the justification for the increase. The manufacturers will also need to provide notice to the state Health Care Authority for significant price increases sixty-days before an increase goes into effect. Requiring transparency in drug pricing is a first step towards keeping prescriptions affordable for Washington.
“The cost of health care is one of the most frequent concerns I hear from my constituents,” said Rep. Robinson. “This bill will provide information to the legislature and to consumers to help hold drug companies accountable for price increases.”