State House Finally Passes Prescription Drug Bill, Sends it to Senate

We have an update to a story we brought you last week, regarding House Bill 1042, which focuses on prescription drug prices in Indiana.

We originally reported that the bill was voted down on January 30th. However, it was actually an amendment, proposed by State Rep. Ryan Hatfield (D-Evansville), that the full House voted down — not HB 1042 in its entirety, as originally written by State Rep. Steve Davisson (R-Salem).

The third reading of House Bill 1042 took place on Monday, and the bill (minus the Hatfield amendment) was passed unanimously.

We reached out to State Rep. Ann Vermilion, who voted no on the Hatfield amendment but then voted yes on HB 1042 on Monday, for an explanation behind both votes.

Here is the full statement we received from her press secretary on Monday afternoon:

House Bill 1042, authored by my colleague and a career community pharmacist State Rep. Steve Davisson (R-Salem), was a recommendation from the Interim Study Committee on Public Health, Behavioral Health, and Human Services after a summer of research and testimony on lowering prescription prices. Drug manufacturers and pharmacies have oversight in many forms; however Pharmacy Benefit Managers are the only entity in the prescription dispensing process that is not licensed. This legislation would address this concern and set the beginning stage of opening up transparency within the drug pricing system.

House Bill 1042 was reviewed and researched in detail during the summer and fall months, and again by the House Public Health Committee. I was extremely fortunate to have been caucused into the House of Representatives for District 31 in time to attend the summer study committee meetings that covered this topic and provide my health care expertise and insight to the committee.

I believe in transparency and providing a platform to truly gain understanding to complex topics such as prescription pricing and pharmacy benefit management. Bringing in a complex topic on an amendment at second reading doesn’t allow for such fruitful conversations. Thus, I voted no for the amended request. As you can see from today’s support on House Bill 1042, the resounding voice from House legislators highlights the commitment we have toward the reduction of health care costs for Hoosiers, especially in this bill regarding pharmaceutical costs.

Now that HB 1042 has passed the House, it will be sent to the Indiana State Senate to be debated and considered.

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