By Jessica Mathews /

Testimony was heard this week on a local lawmaker’s bi-partisan plan to reduce the cost of prescription medication in Michigan.

The House Health Policy Committee heard testimony Tuesday from health professionals and industry experts in support of State Representative Hank Vaupel’s plan to improve prescription drug price transparency in Michigan. The bi-partisan plan requires drug manufacturers to submit information about how their products are priced to the Michigan Department of Information and Financial Services.

Vaupel, a Fowlerville Republican who chairs the Health Policy Committee, said the plan will provide a necessary level of consumer protection and help policymakers better understand the factors behind increasing prescription medication costs. Vaupel commented that by holding everyone within the drug supply chain accountable, they can help protect consumers from inflated prices. He added many of Michigan’s older residents are on fixed incomes and can’t afford to purchase some of their prescriptions due solely to the increase in cost. While the plan doesn’t specifically place limitations on drug pricing, Vaupel said it does provide clarity to a very complex and confusing section of the state’s health care industry.

The legislation is still pending consideration from the Health Policy Committee. Other bills in the package are detailed in the attached press release.