Delaware Vote Tracker

HB62 – Prescription Drug Price Gouging

House Bill 62, sponsored by Representative Andria Bennett and Senator Trey Paradee, is based on the Model Act to Prevent Excessive and Unconscionable Prices for Prescription Drugs that was developed by the National Academy for State Health Policy.

The Model Act, and thus House Bill 62, prohibits manufacturers from raising the price of prescription drugs outside of certain market conditions that might justify a price hike. The bill, obviously, is specifically limited to the prices charged to consumers in the State of Delaware for generic and off-patent drugs.

The bill authorizes the Attorney General to investigate price increases identified by State agencies above a certain threshold. Should price increases not be justified by market conditions, then manufacturers or distributors may be fined up to $10,000 per day for sales which violate the Act. Each sale of a drug excessively and unconscionably priced constitutes a separate violation, so fines can definitely pile up. A manufacturer or distributor of generic or off patent drugs are barred from getting around this bill by withdrawing drugs from sale in Delaware.

House Bill 62 SponsorsYes VotesNo Votes
Bennett Baumbach Bentz Bady Dorsey Walker Heffernan K.Johnson Kowalko Lambert Longhurst Lynn Minor-Brown Mitchell Osienski K.Williams D.Short M.Smith
Paradee Ennis Sokola
Current Status: House Economic Everything 1/7/21

I see two potential problems. First, I need the justifications for the price increases spelled out. The synopsis language is vague, “certain market conditions,” and the specific in the bill seems to be a giant loophole that a Mack Truck could fit through: “if the price increase is directly attributable to additional costs for the drug imposed on the wholesale distributor or pharmacy by the manufacturer of the drug.” Well yes, but this bill is supposed to cover the manufacturer, and it seems that this bill will allow them to come up with any reason for additional costs.

Second, why can’t this bill by applied to non generic patent drugs?

Delaware politics from a liberal, progressive and Democratic perspective. Keep Delaware Blue.

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