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Searching 2021-2022 Session

The Vermont Statutes Online

 

Title 18 : Health

Chapter 091 : PRESCRIPTION DRUG COST CONTAINMENT

Subchapter 003 : Information Requirements

(Cite as: 18 V.S.A. § 4635)
  • § 4635. Prescription drug cost transparency

    (a) As used in this section:

    (1) "Manufacturer" shall have the same meaning as "pharmaceutical manufacturer" in section 4631a of this title.

    (2) "Prescription drug" means a drug as defined in 21 U.S.C. § 321.

    (b)(1)(A) The Department of Vermont Health Access shall create annually a list of 10 prescription drugs on which the State spends significant health care dollars and for which the wholesale acquisition cost has increased by 50 percent or more over the past five years or by 15 percent or more during the previous calendar year, creating a substantial public interest in understanding the development of the drugs' pricing. The list shall include at least one generic and one brand-name drug and shall indicate each of the drugs on the list that the Department considers to be specialty drugs. The Department shall include the percentage of the wholesale acquisition cost increase for each drug on the list; rank the drugs on the list from those with the largest increase in wholesale acquisition cost to those with the smallest increase; indicate whether each drug was included on the list based on its cost increase over the past five years or during the previous calendar year, or both; and provide the Department's total expenditure for each drug on the list during the most recent calendar year.

    (B) The Department of Vermont Health Access shall create annually a list of 10 prescription drugs on which the State spends significant health care dollars and for which the cost to the Department of Vermont Health Access, net of rebates and other price concessions, has increased by 50 percent or more over the past five years or by 15 percent or more during the previous calendar year, creating a substantial public interest in understanding the development of the drugs' pricing. The list shall include at least one generic and one brand-name drug and shall indicate each of the drugs on the list that the Department considers to be specialty drugs. The Department shall rank the drugs on the list from those with the greatest increase in net cost to those with the smallest increase and indicate whether each drug was included on the list based on its cost increase over the past five years or during the previous calendar year, or both.

    (C)(i) Each health insurer with more than 5,000 covered lives in this State for major medical health insurance shall create annually a list of 10 prescription drugs on which its health insurance plans spend significant amounts of their premium dollars and for which the cost to the plans, net of rebates and other price concessions, has increased by 50 percent or more over the past five years or by 15 percent or more during the previous calendar year, or both, creating a substantial public interest in understanding the development of the drugs' pricing. The list shall include at least one generic and one brand-name drug and shall indicate each of the drugs on the list that the health insurer considers to be specialty drugs. The health insurer shall rank the drugs on the list from those with the greatest increase in net cost to those with the smallest increase and indicate whether each drug was included on the list based on its cost increase over the past five years or during the previous calendar year, or both.

    (ii) Each health insurer creating a list pursuant to subdivision (i) of this subdivision (b)(1)(C) shall provide to the Office of the Attorney General the percentage by which the net cost to its plans increased over the applicable period or periods for each drug on the list, as well as the insurer's total expenditure, net of rebates and other price concessions, for each drug on the list during the most recent calendar year. Information provided to the Office of the Attorney General pursuant to this subdivision (b)(1)(C)(ii) is exempt from public inspection and copying under the Public Records Act and shall not be released.

    (2) The Department of Vermont Health Access and the health insurers shall provide to the Office of the Attorney General and the Green Mountain Care Board the lists of prescription drugs developed pursuant to subdivisions (1)(A), (B), and (C)(i) of this subsection annually on or before June 1. The Office of the Attorney General and the Green Mountain Care Board shall make all of the information available to the public on their respective websites.

    (c)(1)(A) Of the prescription drugs listed by the Department of Vermont Health Access and the health insurers pursuant to subdivisions (b)(1)(B) and (C) of this section, the Office of the Attorney General shall identify 15 drugs as follows:

    (i) of the drugs appearing on more than one payer's list, the Office of the Attorney General shall identify the top 15 drugs on which the greatest amount of money was spent across all payers during the previous calendar year, to the extent information is available; and

    (ii) if fewer than 15 drugs appear on more than one payer's list, the Office of the Attorney General shall rank the remaining drugs based on the amount of money spent by any one payer during the previous calendar year, in descending order, and select as many of the drugs at the top of the list as necessary to reach a total of 15 drugs.

    (B) For the 15 drugs identified by the Office of the Attorney General pursuant to subdivision (A) of this subdivision (1), the Office of the Attorney General shall require the manufacturer of each such drug to provide all of the following:

    (i) Justification for the increase in the net cost of the drug to the Department of Vermont Health Access, to one or more health insurers, or both, which shall be provided to the Office of the Attorney General in a format that the Office of the Attorney General determines to be understandable and appropriate and shall be provided in accordance with a timeline specified by the Office of the Attorney General. The manufacturer shall submit to the Office of the Attorney General all relevant information and supporting documentation necessary to justify the manufacturer's net cost increase to the Department of Vermont Health Access, to one or more health insurers, or both during the identified period of time, including:

    (I) each factor that specifically caused the net cost increase to the Department of Vermont Health Access, to one or more health insurers, or both during the specified period of time;

    (II) the percentage of the total cost increase attributable to each factor; and

    (III) an explanation of the role of each factor in contributing to the cost increase.

    (ii) A separate version of the information submitted pursuant to subdivision (i) of this subdivision (1)(B), which shall be made available to the public by the Office of the Attorney General and the Green Mountain Care Board pursuant to subsection (d) of this section. In the event that the manufacturer believes it necessary to redact certain information in the public version as proprietary or confidential, the manufacturer shall provide an explanation for each such redaction to the Office of the Attorney General. The information, format, and any redactions shall be subject to approval by the Office of the Attorney General.

    (iii) Additional information in response to all requests for such information by the Office of the Attorney General.

    (2) Nothing in this section shall be construed to restrict the legal ability of a prescription drug manufacturer to change prices to the extent permitted under federal law.

    (d)(1) The Attorney General shall provide a report to the General Assembly on or before December 1 of each year based on the information received from manufacturers pursuant to this section. The Attorney General shall post the report and the public version of each manufacturer's information submitted pursuant to subdivision (c)(1)(B)(ii) of this section on the Office of the Attorney General's website.

    (2) The Green Mountain Care Board shall post on its website the report prepared by the Attorney General pursuant to subdivision (1) of this subsection and the public version of each manufacturer's information submitted pursuant to subdivision (c)(1)(B)(ii) of this section, and may inform the public of the availability of the report and the manufacturers' justification information.

    (e) Information provided to the Office of the Attorney General pursuant to subdivision (c)(1)(B) of this section is exempt from public inspection and copying under the Public Records Act and shall not be released in a manner that allows for the identification of an individual drug or manufacturer or that is likely to compromise the financial, competitive, or proprietary nature of the information, except for the information prepared for release to the public pursuant to subdivision (c)(1)(B)(ii) of this section.

    (f) The Attorney General may bring an action in the Civil Division of the Superior Court, Washington County for injunctive relief, costs, and attorney's fees, and to impose on a manufacturer that fails to provide any of the information required by subsection (c) of this section, in the format requested by the Office of the Attorney General and in accordance with the timeline specified by the Office of the Attorney General, a civil penalty of not more than $10,000.00 per violation. Each unlawful failure to provide information shall constitute a separate violation. In any action brought pursuant to this section, the Attorney General shall have the same authority to investigate and to obtain remedies as if the action were brought under the Consumer Protection Act, 9 V.S.A. chapter 63. (Added 2015, No. 165 (Adj. Sess.), § 2, eff. June 2, 2016; amended 2017, No. 193 (Adj. Sess.), § 9, eff. May 30, 2018.)