LANSING — The Michigan Senate passed a package of bills designed to lower the cost of prescription drugs. Senator Darrin Camilleri (D-Trenton), Senator Kristen McDonald Rivet (D-Bay City) and Senator Veronica Klinefelt (D-Eastpointe) introduced Senate Bills 483, 484 and 485 that would establish a PDAB to help make life-saving prescriptions more affordable for Michigan residents and make pharmaceutical companies more accountable to the people of Michigan.
“As I talk to my Downriver constituents and Michiganders across the state, I’ve heard countless stories about how the high cost of prescription drugs is a growing crisis for so many. At the same time big pharmaceutical companies continue to reap record profits with little accountability. This cannot continue. It is time for Michigan to take a stand against Big Pharma’s corporate greed and create a Prescription Drug Affordability Board,” said Senator Camilleri at a press release announcing the introduction of the bill package.
According to a report U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, more than 1,200 prescription drugs which increased in price from July 2021 to July 2022 increased at a higher rate than inflation.
The bills passed by a margin of 20-17 with one abstention. All no votes were Republicans who voted no to lowering the cost of prescription drugs while all Democrats voted yes. Republicans offered a series of amendments with Amendment 1 passing in a bipartisan fashion – banning lobbyists from serving on the board. However, even after getting an amendment added to the bill, Republicans voted in lock stop to oppose it.
The bills now head to the Michigan House for consideration before heading to Governor Whitmer for her signature. Governor Whitmer called for passage of legislation creating a Prescription Drug Affordability Board (PDAB) in her “What’s Next” address in August.