Nevada's Drug Price Law Receives an Encouraging Boost

September 29, 2017

 

This month, Nevada's SB 539, a recently passed bill that requires transparency for diabetes drugs and pharmacy benefit managers (PBMs), passed its first threshold.

 

The Pharmaceutical Research and Manufacturers of America (PCMA), the drug industry's main lobbying group, and the Biotechnology Innovation Organization (BIO), filed a lawsuit against the law, claiming it was unconstitutional and trying to prevent it from being enforced. Their suit claims the measure is unprecedented and "interferes with the federal patent and trade-secret laws, deprives manufacturers of their property interest in their trade secrets, and improperly overrides the regulatory choices of every other state.”

 

In reality, the law is intended to promote transparency in diabetes drug pricing by requiring companies to produce information on manufacturing, marketing, and advertising costs for the drugs, and the profits that the companies make. It also requires PBMs to disclose the rebates they negotiate with diabetes drugmakers, what percentage of the rebates they keep, bans them from forbidding pharmacies from discussing lower cost options with patients, and requires them to act in their clients' best interests.

 

U.S. District Judge James Mahan rejected PCMA's call for a temporary restraining order against the bill. This is an excellent sign; however, there will still be a court hearing on the law's validity on October 14th. We hope that the law will be upheld and that PBMs and companies that make diabetes drugs will be held accountable.

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