A bipartisan bill authored by Rep. Debra Kolste, D-Janesville, would allow the state to regulate pharmacy benefit managers, according to a news release from Kolste’s office.
Assembly Bill 621 earlier this week received a public hearing in the Assembly Committee on Health, according to the release.
Pharmacy benefit managers influence which pharmacies residents use and what prescription drugs they can take as well as their cost. These managers oversee prescription drug benefits for 95 percent of Americans with prescription drug coverage, according to the release.
“This is an enormously powerful player with little to no state oversight,” Kolste said in the release. “Before we can best determine how to lower prescription drug prices for consumers, we need transparency to know how much these entities are benefiting financially.”
States and the federal government have filed several lawsuits against pharmacy benefit managers alleging fraud, unjust enrichment, and failure to meet ethical and safety standards, according to the release.
The bill would allow the state insurance commissioner to regulate and oversee pharmacy benefit managers and would be “a good first step in ensuring ethical practices,” Kolste said.