Insurance industry wants transparency to slow rise in drug prices

Written by Ben Allen and Radio Pennsylvania | Mar 3, 2015 3:12 AM

(Harrisburg) -- Rising prescription drug costs have prompted the insurance industry to push for a more transparent process to set prices.

Sam Marshall, president and CEO of the Insurance Federation of Pennsylvania, says pharmaceutical companies should make their costs available, and break down research, clinical trial and marketing expenses.

"That would help a great deal in understanding the price increases here and I think it would arm consumers to say that's outrageous or that's understandable and we accept it," says Marshall.

Marshall spoke at a recent state House committee hearing.

He points to similar bills proposed in Massachusetts and California.

Kimberly Kockler with Independence Blue Cross says she recognizes the importance of some of the drugs.

"But we just feel there needs to be a little bit of balance now. Because we can't continue on the trajectory and continue to provide the policies at affordable rates," she adds.

Prescription drug companies say many of the drugs they offer are life-saving, and they're trying to recoup their investment in developing them.

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