Legislation designed to lower the cost of prescription drugs in Missouri is moving through the Missouri House.

House Bill 442 would invoke cost-sharing measures by providing vouchers to help pay for a patient’s prescription drugs. It’s sponsored by State Rep. Dale Wright, R-Farmington.

“It goes towards their deductibles or their co-pays, to be able to use it as if it was cash or a check or a credit card,” Wright said. “There are some insurance companies that disallow that to be used towards a deductible or copay. And my bill states that you must accept that.”

The bill overwhelmingly passed a House committee last month, 13-1, and unanimously passed the House Rules Committee 6-0 Wednesday.

“I’ve been contacted by people with hemophilia, people with arthritis, cancer patients,” Wright said. “(In) one specific instance, the patient got their drugs like they normally did, but then they were expected to pay the full amount.”

The pharmaceutical industry opposes the bill. Michael Grote, a lobbyist representing CVS Health, testified against it before the House Committee on Health and Mental Health Policy.

“This legislation would increase health care costs by incentivizing higher-cost drugs for a short period
of time, then transferring the increased costs to plans and then all members,” Grote said. “This legislation only
seeks to reduce costs on new and expensive drugs for a shorter period of time to benefit drug

Other opponents include the Missouri Insurance Coalition, Blue Cross Blue Shield of Kansas City, and the Pharmaceutical Care Management Association.

Copyright 2013 Missourinet.