Advocacy

Capitol Hill Report

Read the Academy's bi-weekly update on legislative and regulatory advocacy for neurology. 

 

States Don’t Wait for Congress on Drug Pricing Action

April 9, 2018

States Act on Drug Pricing as Congress Dithers 

While Congress has taken little action to address the high cost of prescription medications, states are actively implementing legislative and regulatory solutions to lower drug prices.

  • Transparency Legislation: California Senate Bill 17 requires manufacturers to provide 60-day notification and justification before raising the price of a drug by more than 16 percent in a two-year period. Nevada Senate Bill 539 requires insulin manufacturers and pharmacy benefit managers to disclose the cost of producing and marketing drugs along with the total percent of rebates that are passed on to consumers. Other states have introduced similar legislation in 2018.
  • ‘Gag Rule’ Legislation: Connecticut Senate Bill 445, which became effective on January 1, bans pharmacy benefit managers from using contract provisions to prohibit pharmacists from informing consumers about less expensive alternatives for prescriptions. Maine, Louisiana, North Dakota, and Georgia each passed similar legislation in 2017 while more states consider the issue in 2018.
  • Regulatory Approaches: New York enacted a law that requires the Department of Health to establish a Medicaid Drug Spending Growth Target each year and demand additional rebates from drug manufacturers to meet that target. In a first for states, New Jersey used the administrative rulemaking process to cap contracts and payments between physicians and pharmaceutical companies at $10,000 per year for non-research and education-related payments. The rule was modeled after several institution-level policies that prohibit or limit industry payments.

Prescription drug pricing is a top advocacy priority for the AAN in states and in Congress. To share your story about high drug costs, please contact advocacy@aan.com.

AAN Supports State Neurosociety Meetings 

  • The AAN works closely with state neurosocieties in more than 23 states to provide local support for neurologists and their practices.
  • Neurosocieties in Virginia, Texas, North Carolina, Georgia, South Carolina, and Massachusetts have hosted meetings in 2018. Agenda topics included navigating the business of medicine, understanding the regulatory environment, advocating for neurology, utilizing quality measures, and optimizing coding in neurology practices. Nearly 700 neurologists, advanced practice providers, and neuroscience professionals attended the meetings in these six states.
  • If you are interested in joining your state neurosociety, securing speakers for an upcoming state neurosociety meeting, or starting a neurosociety in your state, visit the AAN State Neurosocieties web page or contact advocacy@aan.com for more information.

Be Aware of Open Payments Review and Dispute Period Deadline

  • From April 1 through May 15, physicians can review, affirm, and, if necessary, dispute newly submitted Open Payments records. CMS strongly encourages the review of this data. Disputes must be initiated during the review and dispute period in order to be reflected in the June 2018 publication.
  • If you are already registered, log in to review your data. If you have not accessed your account in 60 days or more, you will need to unlock your account in the CMS Portal. If you have not accessed your account in 180 days or more, you will need to contact the Open Payments Help Desk to reinstate your account. The Help Desk can be reached at openpayments@cms.hhs.gov or (855) 326-8366.

Capitol Hill Report Archives

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2016