Vermont to require drug makers to explain price increases

Vermont is poised to be the first state requiring drug companies to explain their price increases.

A bill passed by lawmakers in their final week and awaiting Democratic Gov. Peter Shumlin’s signature would have state health regulators identify up to 15 drugs a year with the biggest price increases. It then would require their manufacturers to justify those increases to the attorney general’s office.

A spokesman for the leading industry group says the legislation is misguided and that there are other steps states can take to ensure citizens have access to needed medications.

The issue was highlighted recently by Turing Pharmaceuticals’ decision to raise the price of a drug used to treat a life-saving condition from $13.50 per pill to $750.

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