As the New York state legislative session kicks into high gear, the debate over prescription drug prices is back on the table. Gov. Andrew Cuomo set the stage in December by previewing a proposal to reduce prescription drug costs, including a cap on insulin payments, greater powers to investigate spikes in drug prices and the importation of Canadian drugs. Then, in late December, he vetoed a bill that had the same goal – by regulating pharmaceutical benefit managers.
But in his budget proposal, Cuomo included a provision that aims to increase transparency of PBMs, which negotiate drug prices on behalf of insurers and employers. The language in the proposal is similar to that of the bill he vetoed in December. Both would require PBMs to register with the state and disclose financial incentives for promoting certain drugs. Cuomo and his Democratic colleagues have the same goal – lowering prescription drug costs – but they disagreed on the details. Cuomo’s office did not respond to a request for comment on how the bill he vetoed differs from his new proposal to regulate pharmacy benefit managers.