Maharath Introduces Drug Price Transparency, Safe Drug Disposal Bills
February 12, 2019
Today, state Senator Tina Maharath (D-Columbus) introduced her first bills in the Ohio legislature, focused on improving the health of Ohioans.
Senate Bill 14 will ban gag clauses for pharmacy benefit managers (PBMs). It aims at making these entities, which oversee Medicaid-managed care plans, more transparent. Currently, PBMs’ drug price formulas can force consumers to spend more on their copays for a generic drug than what they would have spent without insurance. Pharmacists have also been barred from telling customers about cheaper alternatives. SB 14 would apply to both Medicaid insurance plans and private insurers.
“Consumers shouldn’t be priced out of their health care, especially when cheaper options are available,” said Senator Maharath. “I want to make sure we are putting the health of patients first by preventing greedy pharmaceutical companies from continuing with these practices. I have overpaid for prescription drugs and know how squeezed and helpless you feel when you have to choose between buying medicines and food for your child.”
Senate Bill 20 allows people to safely dispose of unused prescription drugs, including opioids and other controlled substances, by requiring that pharmacies give customers special bags that deactivate the substance.
“We must find a way to reduce the amount of unused opioids available to patients to help decrease the likelihood of individuals developing an addiction,” said Senator Maharath. “I lost a childhood friend to an opioid addiction and it’s not something that I wish on anyone in our state. This legislation is a small, but important step toward curbing this devastating crisis.”