Michigan Association of Health Plans

Shining the Light into Pharmacy Pricing

Michiganders, the healthcare industry, employer groups, and citizen advocates believe access to the pricing of ever-increasing drug costs serves consumers. Shining a light into their costs would be a step to bringing them to the level of transparency required of others in the healthcare market. Transparency into a $3 trillion dollar industry is a value-add to our consumers.

Prescription drug costs account for 25% of our healthcare premiums and national spend for prescription drugs has outpaced durable medical equipment, nursing home care, and home health care combined. CMS expects that spend in prescription drugs to increase an average of 6.5% per year through 2025 totaling near $600 billion by 2025. We deserve to know where the costs of these persistent increases stem from. The cost of these drugs is shrouded in darkness and secrecy.

One of MAHP’s Strategic Goals is increasing value in the healthcare landscape in Michigan. Understanding the root cause of increased prescription drug prices is integral to understanding the value they bring to consumers. We invite the pharmaceutical industry to listen to stakeholders throughout the healthcare ecosystem to learn how increasing transparency will bring further value to their industry as it has to other stakeholders in our industry.

California, Vermont, Louisiana, Nevada, and several other states have taken steps toward prescription drug transparency. Michigan’s time to shine our light into costs has come with the introduction of House Bill 5223 by Representative Vaupel and Senate Bill 825 by Senator Bieda. MAHP strongly supports these bills along with our industry partners.

There is a light at the end of a long tunnel for healthcare transparency. Prescription drugs, based on their increasing costs to consumers, must explain their value. In order to understand value we must understand the costs. Supporting House Bill 5223 and Senate Bill 825 in a crucial step toward understanding costs. We must stay singularly focused on the rising costs of prescription drugs.