Insulin measure watched
A measure in the Nevada Legislature is getting attention outside the state for its approach to prescription drug prices.
Senate Bill 265, sponsored by Clark County Sen. Yvanna Cancela, would require diabetes drug makers to keep prices within the rate of inflation or give refunds, require the drug makers to disclose information to the state on how much they pay for research and manufacturing as well as information on profits and discounts provided to insurers and pharmacy benefit managers, require licensure of pharmaceutical drug salespeople, require drug salespeople to disclose the freebies given to physicians, and require nonprofit groups to disclose the contributions drug makers give to those groups.
The measure is relatively nervy in this state. Because of its small size, Nevada often has difficulty enforcing its policies on big corporations. In the insurance field, for instance, legislators have usually been careful imposing mandates for particular types of coverage because some insurers have been known to leave the state’s market altogether rather than comply.
In the case of getting disclosure of confidential information, Nevada legislators investigating allegations of a price conspiracy by ARCO Petroleum in 1987 subpoenaed information that ARCO claimed constituted “trade secrets.” The corporation refused to comply. The lawmakers were stymied until the documents that had been subpoenaed turned up in a public court filing in California, making them available to Nevada’s lawmakers without ARCO’s consent.
Business and consumer lobbyists and trade publications are all watching the progress of the Nevada measure.