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A new law passed in Oregon with support and hard work from OSPIRG is a victory for consumers not just in Oregon, but nationwide. On Monday, Gov. Kate Brown signed House Bill 4005, an urgently-needed measure to increase transparency and accountability for the prescription drug industry.
While HB 4005 only applies to drugs sold in Oregon, the new law will make invaluable information about drug prices and drug price hikes available to the general public online, so no matter where you live, you can access and use that information. That will make the new law a potential game-changer in the fight to contain rising prescription drug costs. Oregon’s measure builds on similar legislation passed last year in California and Nevada. Comparable legislation is currently under consideration in many other states.
The new law requires prescription drug corporations publicly explain price hikes in excess of 10 percent in a single year for drugs that cost at least $100 a month. Putting greater public pressure on drug companies to justify prices may help deter some of the most excessive price hikes. More transparent information will also help policymakers, consumers and other health care payers take steps to contain the cost of drugs going forward.
US PIRG applauds Gov. Brown and Oregon lawmakers, who stood up to an intense lobbying effort by the powerful pharmaceutical industry—including a misleading campaign by a fake industry-funded “patient group”—and did the right thing for consumers.
HB 4005 by itself will not entirely solve the problem of skyrocketing prices for prescription drugs, but it is a critical first step toward holding the pharmaceutical industry accountable. Oregon’s new law is a historic stride forward for consumers, and deserves to be celebrated.
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U.S. PIRG (Public Interest Research Group) is an independent, non-partisan group that works for consumers and the public interest. Through research, public education and outreach, we serve as counterweights to the influence of powerful special interests that threaten our health, safety, or well-being.
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