New legislation from a local lawmaker would require drug manufacturers to reveal how they set their prices.

State Representative Hank Vaupel of Handy Township delivered testimony, Wednesday, for a bill he introduced that would increase transparency in drug pricing. Vaupel, who chairs the House Health Policy Committee, said the goal of his measure is to reveal the true costs behind manufacturing prescription drugs and how drug prices are set, because nobody seems to know. With different tiers of how drugs are priced and lots of moving parts like insurance, Medicare, and Medicaid, this would help start to get a handle on why drugs cost what they cost.

Vaupel said that under the bill, drug manufacturers would have to reveal how much of their price comes from research, marking, manufacturing costs, and getting the medications to pharmacies. He believes that seeing how prices are determined will allow them to make better inroads on making sure health care is affordable to all.

The Representative also introduced a companion bill that deals with pharmacy benefit managers. These managers are the unregulated negotiators between insurance companies and pharmacies. Vaupel said the bill would require them to register and disclose how they negotiate and how much profit they make, as that goes into the end price of medication.

The measures are now waiting to be considered by the House Health Policy Committee. (MK)