On behalf of patient rights, the CDC fights many legislative battles across the country. Some we win, some we lose.
In protecting these rights, we have learned that there are no final victories and no final defeats. When we win, we know that we will be back having to defend those gains. And when we lose, we know that we will be back to fight another day.
On that note, we have been closely following two important bills in the Oregon legislature.
HB 4156, would have ended the despicable insurance practice of “fail first” step therapy. The CDC supports this bill, but now it looks as if insurance lobbyists have prevented it from moving forward this session.
A second bill, HB 4005, is being heavily promoted by insurance lobbyists. This bill is ostensibly about pharmaceutical cost transparency, and yet it intentionally and conveniently (for insurance companies) leaves those same insurance companies, as well as pharmacies and pharmacy benefit managers (PBMs), out of the transparency mix.
The bottom line is that in Oregon, HB 4156 would directly benefit patients while HB 4005 has no patient benefit. Yet it looks like the Oregon legislature is on the verge of passing HB 4005 while letting HB 4156 languish. This is sad and regrettable.
Despite this setback orchestrated by deep-pocketed special interests, we will continue our fight in Oregon and around the country to defend chronic disease patient rights and fight against patient or disease discrimination.
For further reference, the following link is an article in the Wall Street Journal which came out earlier this week and talks about PBMs and their hidden profits within the drug supply chain: https://www.wsj.com/article_email/hidden-profits-in-the-prescription-drug-supply-chain-1519484401-lMyQjAxMTE4MzI5NDkyODQyWj/