KHN Morning Briefing

Summaries of health policy coverage from major news organizations

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Prescription Drug Costs Trigger State Pushes For Transparency

Stateline reports that 11 states have introduced legislation that would require drug makers to justify their prices by disclosing spending on marketing and research, among other things. Meanwhile, STAT reports on how Harvoni's ad blitz is generating significant interest in the hepatitis C drug despite its high cost. In other news, Texas officials are studying whether adding more generics into the Medicaid program would help control costs, and Valeant is poised to release its fourth-quarter results.

Stateline: High Drug Prices Prompt Demands For Transparency
Outraged by exorbitant prices for certain prescription drugs, lawmakers in at least 11 states have introduced legislation that would require pharmaceutical companies to justify their prices by disclosing how much they spend on research, manufacturing and marketing. The bills are similar to a provision in President Barack Obama’s proposed 2017 budget. The sponsors of the measures say they have a variety of goals: to educate policymakers and consumers about the reason for high prescription drug prices; to shame pharmaceutical companies into moderating their prices; and, in some states, including Massachusetts, to actually place a ceiling on prices that are determined to be unjustified. (Ollove, 3/7)

The Wall Street Journal: Valeant Expects To Report Results, Update Guidance Next Week
Valeant Pharmaceuticals International Inc. said it would outline its fourth-quarter results and update investors on its financial guidance next week, a move that comes after the Canadian drugmaker had delayed the call. Valeant had previously been slated to report results Feb. 29, but the night before, the company postponed the call and withdrew its guidance as it said Chief Executive Michael Pearson had returned from medical leave. The call will now happen March 15, Valeant said Monday. (Steele, 3/7)

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