Drug abuse and drug prices will get plenty of attention at 2019 Legislature

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By: Mike Dennison

Problems with drugs in Montana, both legal and illegal, promise to get plenty of bipartisan attention at the 2019 Montana Legislature…

And state Auditor Matt Rosendale, whose office regulates health insurance, also has a plan to put the squeeze on prescription-drug prices, by stopping drug-benefit managers and the pharmaceutical industry from withholding information that can help consumers buy less-expensive drugs.

“We’re going to bring forward legislation that is going to help drive down the cost of pharmaceuticals for the consumers and bring transparency to the pharmacists that are delivering it,” he says…

For example, it says if a health-coverage plan receives any payments or kickbacks from a drug manufacturer, those savings must be passed on to consumers.

Rosendale said he expects strong opposition from the pharmaceutical industry and its allies, but that he’s confident he can get it passed.

“They’re going to have an army of very well-paid lobbyists there in Helena for the session,” he says. “But I think the legislators and the consumers of Montana will not be fooled.”

Read more at KPAX