Press Release, June 18, 2020, Governor's Prescription Drug Task Force Hears How Drug Prices Have Impacted Hospitals

June 18, 2020

For more information contact Olivia Hwang, Director of Public Affairs, (608) 209-6309 or olivia.hwang@wisconsin.gov


Governor's Prescription Drug Task Force Hears How Drug Prices Have Impacted Hospitals

Madison, Wis. - The Go​​vernor's Task Force on Reducing Prescription Drug Prices convened today to discuss how drug prices have impacted hospitals, learn more about drug importation regulations, and deepen its understanding of the role that wholesalers and pharmacy services administrative organizations play in the supply chain.

Today's meeting, conducted via webinar, represented the fifth time the task force has met either in person or via videoconference since November 2019 and featured presentations from:

  • Healthcare Distribution Alliance (HDA), which detailed the role pharmaceutical wholesalers play in the chain and the value and services their members provide
  • Representatives from the Pharmacy Services Administrative Organization (PSAO) Coalition who provided an overview of how PSAOs work, including the core services that they provide to independent and small chain pharmacies
  • Representatives from the American Hospital Association and Door County Medical Center who discussed about recent trends in drug spending and the impact of drug price increases and shortages
  • And staff from National Governors Association and from Horvath Health Policy, who discussed state efforts to design and implement drug importation programs and outlined existing federal laws and proposed regulations

The Task Force also received an update from the state Department of Justice about Attorney General Josh Kaul's recent decision to join a coalition of 50 states in filing a third complaint in an ongoing antitrust price-fixing investigation into generic drug industry.

“Today's meeting provided important voices to the discussion about lowering prescription drug costs," said task force Chair and Deputy Insurance Commissioner Nathan Houdek. “We learned more about how stakeholders like PSAOs support their member pharmacies and about the challenges that prescription drug costs pose to healthcare providers. Those perspectives are critical to the task force as we develop solutions to drive down prescription drug costs for consumers."

In August 2019, Gov. Tony Evers signed Executive Order #39 establishing a task force on reducing prescription drug prices. Throughout 2020 this group will analyze information relating to the development, pricing, distribution, and purchasing of prescription drugs; review actions already taken by Wisconsin and other states to reduce prescription drug prices; and identify opportunities to coordinate with other states and the federal government. Ultimately, the group will recommend potential actions that can be taken to reduce prescription drug prices in Wisconsin.

Members of the public are encouraged to follow the task force's work through its website, https://rxdrugtaskforce.wi.gov/pages/home.aspx. The site includes links to minutes from past meetingsrecordings, and future meeting details. The task force is scheduled to convene again for virtual meetings on July 21 and 22. ​