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Bill would require drug makers to explain price hikes

Rep. Gene Whisnant

SALEM, Oregon – A bill that would target drug manufacturers that significantly increase prices of prescription drugs is moving through the Oregon Legislature. The measure passed the House of Representatives with bipartisan support.

Under House Bill 4004, when the price of a drug that costs more than $100 increases more than 10 percent in a year, the manufacturer would have to give a reason. It’s sponsor, Rep. Bob Nosse (D-Portland) says the bill requires the company to detail the factors that go into the price hike.

Rep. Gene Whisnant (R-Sunriver) opposed the bill, citing a concern that drug makers would have to surrender proprietary information.

“I’m afraid, in my opinion, that this bill requires drug manufacturers to disclose information which is protected under law,” he said.

Other opponents expressed the concern that it would mean drug manufacturers could decide not to make their pharmaceuticals available in Oregon.

The bill now must be approved by the Senate, which must act quickly on it. The session ends on March 11.

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