Madison, Wis. – The Governor’s Task Force on Reducing Prescription Drug Prices today concluded its first round of meetings and began framing policy options to present to the governor later this year.
Meeting via videoconference, the task force convened to discuss possible steps the state could take to reduce the cost of prescription medications for Wisconsinites. Those recommendations will be put forth in a report that will advance to Governor Tony Evers later this fall.
Today’s session capped a series of meetings that date back to November 2019. In the course of its work, the task force took a comprehensive look at the prescription drug supply chain and its multiple stakeholders, including pharmacists, hospitals and pharmacy benefit managers (PBMs), and collected testimony from consumers and businesses about how the high cost of prescription medications have impacted their lives and livelihoods. The work helped task force members gain a deeper understanding of not only the challenges but also the creative strategies used by businesses, nonprofits and government agencies to lower costs.
“This task force was formed to bring diverse viewpoints to the table in support of one common goal: to identify ways we can help bring down the cost of prescription medications for Wisconsin consumers,” said Deputy Insurance Commissioner and Task Force Chair Nathan Houdek. “I want to thank all of the task force members for their work and all who came to share their insight, expertise and experience with the task force these last nine months. Their contributions will help us develop solutions that can provide Wisconsin families with some relief from the high costs of prescription drugs.”
The costs of prescription drugs have continued to increase in recent years, with Wisconsinites spending an estimated $1.3 billion on prescription medications and supplies in 2019. In response, Gov. Tony Evers in August 2019 signed Executive Order #39 establishing a task force on reducing prescription drug prices. This group was to analyze information relating to the development, pricing, distribution, and purchasing of prescription drugs; review actions already taken by Wisconsin and other states to reduce prescription drug prices; and identify opportunities to coordinate with other states and the federal government. The task force is to submit an annual report to the governor recommending steps that can be taken to reduce the price of prescription drugs in Wisconsin.
Members of the public are encouraged to learn more about the task force’s work through its website, https://rxdrugtaskforce.wi.gov/pages/home.aspx. The site includes links to minutes from past meetings, recordings, and copies of the presentations delivered to the task force.