The end of the legislative session in Olympia on April 23 did not see the enactment of what had once been among the fastest-moving pieces of drug pricing transparency legislation in the country. After passing the House of Representatives in a close 52-46 vote, HB 1541 was unable to escape from the Senate Committee on Health Care.
HB 1541 would have required manufacturers of prescription drugs that increase in price by 1) the lesser of 10% or $10,000 over a 12-month period; or 2) the lesser of 25% or $25,000 over a 36-month period to report various categories of information to a “data organization” procured by the state’s Office of Financial Management (OFM) no later than 60 days before the increase. Some of the information to be reported included the drug’s pricing history in the US; total manufacturer aid through assistance programs, rebates, and coupons; and an economic justification for the increase. The data organization would have been required to compile a report to be released on OFM’s website along with the data submitted by manufacturers. The legislation contained no provisions to preserve the confidentiality of any manufacturer data. OFM could have assessed manufacturers with civil penalties of up to $1,000 per day for failure to report.
Although it was not passed in the regular session, HB 1541 has been reintroduced in the 2017 1st Special Session and is before the House Rules Committee for a third reading.