States Try to Rein in Pricey Drugs

With anger rising over high prescription drug prices and no federal action on the horizon, several states are taking action to force drug makers to open up their books to justify the high pricetags.

Various states introduced legislation calling for drug makers to disclose their research and development, marketing and other costs for particularly pricey products. Eight states have filed bills calling for more transparency: Massachusetts, California, Minnesota, New York, North Carolina, Oregon, Pennsylvania and Texas.

The bills strike at the heart of the pharmaceutical industry’s most common defense of high prices: that the money is needed to help recoup staggering research and development costs and time.

All of the bills were filed earlier this year, but so far none has advanced out of their respective legislative committees, said Richard Cauchi, health program director for the National Conference of State Legislatures.