Posted by Samantha Staudt.
One in five Americans have reported that they have skipped medicine doses or failed to fill a prescription each year because of the cost of the medicine. This statistic is outrageous and states have to start doing something about it because the federal government will not. Certain states, like Nevada, have passed a new law that manufactures must disclose more information about why drug prices are rapidly increasing. In the past few year, prices in Nevada have increased as much as 325 percent, so this law will help regulate the prices of prescription drugs. Maryland provides another example of steps that must be taken in an order to regulate drug companies. The attorney general sued generic drug manufacturers whose prices rose more than fifty percent in a year. States are partly responsible for the funding of the Medicaid program, spending more than 20 million dollars a year on prescription drugs for public employees and prisoners.
Drug manufacturers have recently pushed opioids while denying and misunderstanding their addictiveness. This may be enough to cut the political power of the pharmaceutical industry. This statistic is not settling well with anyone and more than 100 states have filed lawsuits against pharmaceutical companies related to tobacco. This is in an effort to recover the costs of dealing with the epidemic of addiction and overdoses. Oklahoma’s attorney general, Nolan Clay, is making strides to fixing this rising issue by refusing to accept donations from drug companies.
Of course, pharmaceutical companies fight the big changes that would affect the company. The industry has been at the top of the lists for lobbying expenditures and campaign contributions at the same time managing to block reform proposals. During Nevada’s fight to lower drug prices, drug companies hired more than seventy lobbyist to descend on the bill. When state drug pricing bills pass, the drug industry challenges them in court. There have been several lawsuits filed, but none have succeeded yet. In order to prevent drug companies from overpricing prescription drugs, states must enforce regulation laws immediately.
Samantha is a finance major at the Stillman School of Business, Seton Hall University, Class of 2020.