Why are prescription drug prices so high in Minnesota, particularly for brand-names and specialty drugs? U-of-M College of Pharmacy Professor, Doctor Steven Schondelmeyer told a special Minnesota Senate panel Thursday that although true new innovations should be rewarded, “We’ve awarded a monopoly and exclusivities that go on for long, long periods of time — and you don’t have market-based prices when you have monopolies.”
Schondelmeyer told lawmakers, “Many of the things that would be best to make this [the market] work probably need to be done at the federal level, but that doesn’t mean you should sit by at the state and say, oh, I can’t do anything, throw my hands up. There are things you can begin to do, and some states are beginning to do that.” He says one would be rate regulation, as is done with utilities. Schondelmeyer says a “Price Regulation Review Board” would help.
The Senate panel’s assignment is to make recommendations on health care reform to the 2018 Minnesota Legislature.