Government waste watchdog group urges Nevada governor to veto Rx 'transparency' bill

A Nevada bill headed to the desk of Governor Brian Sandoval (R) would do nothing to decrease prescription drug costs, according to the Council of Citizens Against Government Waste (CCAGW).

The bill, SB 539, is a revised version of a similar bill (SB 265) that was previously vetoed by Sandoval.

“Just as SB 265 would not have lowered drug costs, neither will this legislation,” according to a statement by Thomas Schatz, president of CCAGW. 

According to Schatz, SB 539 would, “require pharmaceutical manufacturers, and now pharmacy benefit managers (PBMs), to provide costs, profits, pricing, coupon, and rebate information, much of which would be proprietary and if exposed would disrupt and harm the sensitive negotiations that occur throughout the drug supply chain that lower drug costs.”

According to the Pharmaceutical Care Management Association (PCMA), the industry group representing PBMs, the bill could increase prescription drug costs and is potentially unconstitutional.

“The costly fiduciary mandate in this bill is similar to those that have been rejected by federal courts on constitutional grounds for conflicting with federal benefits law (Employee Retirement Income Security Act),” according to a statement released by PCMA.

PCMA said the industry supports transparency, but echoed CCAGW’s concerns that the bill could expose information that disrupts cost-saving price negotiations.

“PBMs support transparency that offers consumers and plan sponsors like labor unions, employers, and health plans the information they need to make the choices that are right for them,” said PCMA. “However, this bill would grant the kind of transparency that the Federal Trade Commission and economists say will raise costs by giving drug companies inside information that would empower them to collude with their competitors.”

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Pharmaceutical Care Management Association 325 7th St NW Washington, DC - 20004