Monday, March 9, 2020

MI Rx task force rolls up its sleeves

Posted By on Mon, Mar 9, 2020 at 10:05 AM

click to enlarge ROHANE HAMILTON / SHUTTERSTOCK.COM
  • Rohane Hamilton / Shutterstock.com

High costs are preventing nearly 1 in 3 Michigan adults from taking needed medication. However, solutions to help bring down the price of prescription medication could be around the corner.

The new Prescription Drug Task Force established by Gov. Whitmer is starting its investigation into the scope and cause of the rising cost of prescription drugs. Manager of Advocacy with AARP Michigan Lisa Dedden Cooper said with no action on pricing at the federal level, this is Michigan's best chance to find solutions.



"We're very much looking forward to them having the opportunity to roll up their sleeves and come up with some practical solutions," Cooper said. "Other states have found paths forward to make changes to lower prescription drug prices. We can do it too in Michigan."

The average cost of prescription drugs rose by about 60% between 2012 and 2017, while income increased only 11%. The task force will present its recommendations to the governor by mid-August.

Cooper said state lawmakers also are currently considering several prescription drug reform measures that would allow for wholesale importing of medications from Canada or other countries, as well as strengthening consumer protections and improving transparency.

"Through increasing transparency we can shine a light on how drug companies are setting their prices," she said. "Patients deserve to know how much taxpayer-funded research went into developing a drug, how much the manufacturer spent on advertising compared to research and development."

It's estimated that marketing and advertising accounts for 30% of drug costs, compared to 17% for research and development. And Cooper said other bills would specifically help with the skyrocketing cost of insulin, which nearly tripled between 2002 and 2013.

"This is with a drug that not only do people rely on for life and death, but also it is a drug that really hasn't been a product of new 'R and D' in many years," she said.

The bipartisan Prescription Drug Task Force includes five state lawmakers, as well as directors of the Michigan Department of Health and Human Services, Department of Insurance and Financial Services, and Licensing and Regulatory Affairs.

Stay on top of Detroit news and views. Sign up for our weekly issue newsletter delivered each Wednesday.

Tags: , , , ,

We welcome readers to submit letters regarding articles and content in Detroit Metro Times. Letters should be a minimum of 150 words, refer to content that has appeared on Detroit Metro Times, and must include the writer's full name, address, and phone number for verification purposes. No attachments will be considered. Writers of letters selected for publication will be notified via email. Letters may be edited and shortened for space.

Email us at letters@metrotimes.com.

Support Local Journalism.
Join the Detroit Metro Times Press Club

Local journalism is information. Information is power. And we believe everyone deserves access to accurate independent coverage of their community and state. Our readers helped us continue this coverage in 2020, and we are so grateful for the support.

Help us keep this coverage going in 2021. Whether it's a one-time acknowledgement of this article or an ongoing membership pledge, your support goes to local-based reporting from our small but mighty team.

Join the Metro Times Press Club for as little as $5 a month.

Read the Digital Print Issue

May 12, 2021

View more issues

Newsletters

Never miss a beat

Sign Up Now

Subscribe now to get the latest news delivered right to your inbox.

Best Things to Do In Detroit

© 2021 Detroit Metro Times - Contact Us

Website powered by Foundation