Senate Republicans continued to deliver on their promise to make prescription drug costs more transparent and more affordable. By an overwhelming bipartisan vote of 63-2, the Senate recently approved Senate File 1098, the Prescription Drug Transparency Act.

“Consumers deserve transparency and accountability from the pharmaceutical industry,” said District 16 Sen. Gary Dahms of Redwood Falls, who is a co-author on the bill. “This is a reasonable bill that empowers the consumer and simply asks pharmaceutical companies to justify the prices they charge. Getting prescription drug costs under control will make a big dent in families’ overall cost of health care.”

Under the legislation, drug manufacturers must submit information about drugs that have seen price increases of 10 percent or more over the last 12 months or 16 percent or more during the previous 24 months for name brand drugs, or generic drugs that have had price increases of 50 percent or more during the previous 12 months.

Documentation must include:

• The name of the drug and the net price increase

• A list of factors leading to the increase

• Names of any generic versions of the drug that are available

• The introductory price approved by the FDA and year-over-year increases

• Costs incurred by the manufacturer associated with the prescription drug. That includes manufacturing, marketing and distribution.

• Net profit and sales revenue on the drug for the previous 12 months

• Total amount of financial assistance the manufacturer has offered through patient assistance programs

• Any agreements between the manufacturer and another entity about delaying the production of generic alternatives.

Sen. Dahms is in his third term representing Senate District 16, which includes communities in Brown, Lac qui Parle, Lyon, Redwood, Renville and Yellow Medicine counties. He also serves as the chair of the Senate commerce and consumer protection finance and policy committee and is an assistant majority leader.