NCSL Releases Prescription Drug Policy Report


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State Legislatures Have Introduced More Than 700 Bills on Prescription Drug Policy in 2021

Denver—Prior to the COVID-19 pandemic, one of the most widely discussed health care topics in state capitols and Washington, D.C. was the cost of prescription drugs. A report issued by the National Conference of State Legislatures (NCSL), “Prescription Drug Policy: A Bipartisan Remedy,” explores the recommendations of its bipartisan Prescription Drug Policy Recommendations Working Group, and highlights state legislative actions and policy options for legislatures in 2021 and beyond.

Key takeaways from the report include:

  • Over 700 bills were introduced in 48 states and Puerto Rico for the 2021 session. Of those, at least 104 laws have been enacted in 33 states.
  • More than 200 bills introduced were related to pharmacy benefit managers, or PBMs, with 47 laws enacted in 27 states.
  • NCSL’s working group offered three broad recommendations, including determine the true cost of prescription drugs, streamline procurement processes, and encourage supply chain competition.
  • At least 14 states have transparency laws requiring manufacturers to report price increases.
  • At least 18 states have implemented a monthly copayment cap for insulin.
  • All 50 states have at least one law that relates to pharmacy benefit managers.

Related NCSL Resources and Updates:

State Legislatures News: Congress Renews Talks on Prescription Drug Measures

NCSL is a bipartisan organization that serves the legislators and staffs of the states, commonwealths and territories. It provides research, technical assistance and opportunities for policymakers to exchange ideas on the most pressing state issues and is an effective and respected advocate for the interests of the states in the American federal system.