DeLuca calls for transparency in pharmaceutical costs

HARRISBURG, April 20 – In an effort to explore the ever-growing cost of health care in the commonwealth, state Rep. Tony DeLuca, Democratic chairman of the House Insurance Committee, is introducing legislation that would provide for pharmaceutical cost transparency.

"As a result of the Affordable Care Act, the healthcare industry has implemented cost control measures, yet the rising cost of some prescription drugs continues to far outpace the other sectors of the health care industry," said DeLuca, D-Allegheny.

DeLuca noted that while the pharmaceutical industry has issued prescription drug rebates to ease the financial burden on patients, the industry is also a big winner in the passage and enactment of the ACA due to more insured people being able to afford prescriptions.

"I understand that research and development are part of the overhead costs of a prescription, but for the sticker price of a prescription drug to reach $100,000 or more for annual use is frightening and not sustainable," DeLuca said.

"The insurance industry and health care providers are held accountable with profit ratios, rate caps and Medicare negotiations. We need insight into the pharmaceutical industry to examine the cost spikes in prescription drugs and determine if similar cost controls are needed there, as well."

House Bill 1042 will likely be referred to the House Insurance Committee.