Loopholes, Lack Of Staffing Stymie Transparency Of Oregon’s Drug Pricing Program

September 2, 2021

Prescription drug costs are often more than one 63-year-old cancer survivor in Portland can afford. She also suffers from rheumatoid arthritis and other chronic conditions. While Medicare and Medicaid cover the majority of her care, copayments for life-saving drugs have cost her as much as several hundred dollars out-of-pocket at one time. For years, her son has helped her financially, but when he can’t, she goes without. 

“More often than not, she will not fulfill pain medication prescriptions because she tends to grin and bear it, because pain typically is not a critical side effect so much as a lifestyle-impacting one,” her son told The Lund Report. The woman requested anonymity for herself and her son over fears that going public could affect her health care coverage.

This woman is far from alone. According to a Gallup poll released in November 2019, more than 58 million Americans reported they couldn’t afford a needed prescription drug during the prior 12 months. 

Oregon lawmakers took what was described as a first step toward combating sky-high drug prices and spending when it created the state’s Prescription Drug Price Transparency program in 2018. The goal of the program was to hold pharmaceutical companies accountable by shining a light into the black box of drug supply-chain costs and pricing. It was the second such program to be established in the country at the time, second only to California. 


Read the source article at The Lund Report
2021-08-31 02:56:14

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