Montana Lawmakers And Commissioner Target Reducing Prescription Drug Costs

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By: Corin Cates-Carney

Montana lawmakers and the state insurance commissioner are targeting a generally hidden part of the healthcare system, with new regulations aimed at bringing down prescription drug costs. Companies in the drug supply chain, and the state’s biggest health insurance company, are fighting back…

In December Prime Therapeutics reached a $375,000 settlement with state Insurance Commissioner Matt Rosendale that will pay for a review of the company’s pricing data. Prime admitted no wrongdoing in the settlement. Rosendale’s office has two more pending legal challenges against PBMs seeking drug pricing information…

Another bill (SB 71) in the works aims to reform how PBMs interact with insurance companies and, in turn, reduce the cost of drugs. Republican Sen. Albert Olszewski is carrying that bill at the request of Insurance Commissioner Rosendale. It’s considered a companion to the one heard Wednesday.

Both the Rosendale’s office and pharmacy benefit managers are planning lobbying efforts in the coming days through what they’re billing as educational meetings, so lawmakers learn more about their takes on the prescription drug industry.

Read more from Montana Public Radio