MINNEAPOLIS (WCCO) — Both the Minnesota House and Senate passed bipartisan legislation Thursday to regulate and require transparency from pharmacy benefit managers, the House said. The Senate unanimously passed the bill 67-0 Thursday. The House then passed it 130-2 and sent it to Gov. Tim Walz for his signature, the AP reports.
Pharmacy benefit managers develop pharmacy formulary lists, make contracts with pharmacies, and negotiate discounts with drug companies.
The bill will require all pharmacy benefit managers to be licensed by the MN Department of Commerce, which is a valid license for three years. Under the terms, the Commerce can suspend, revoke, or place a manager on probation if they engage in fraudulent activity or receive substantial consumer complaints, the bill says. They will also be required to share agreements with– and payments received from– drug manufacturers.
“This is the result of hours of discussion between a bipartisan group of doctors in the House and Senate,” DFL Rep. Alice Mann told the House. “I’m proud to say we came to a compromise that will bring down the cost of prescription drugs.”
Republican Scott Jensen, the chief Senate sponsor, says the bill will shine a needed light on managers’ operations and hopefully result in lower costs for consumers, the AP says.