(By Delegates Douglas, Manuel, Hunt and Compton)

(March 8, 1995)

Requesting the Joint Committee on Government and Finance to study drug pricing practices in the State of West Virginia and the effect of such practices on independent and retail pharmacists and on the elderly, uninsured and working poor; and the impact of drug equalization legislation on consumers, pharmacies, health care providers and the insurance market.

Whereas, Many West Virginia residents are consumers of pharmaceutical drugs prescribed by health care providers and purchased in this State from various sources, including independent pharmacies, retailers, wholesalers and mail-order companies; and
Whereas, The Legislature is concerned that the pricing of pharmaceutical drugs sold and marketed to various entities is not being done on an equal basis, resulting in cost-shifting of the price of such drugs which is ultimately borne by the consumers; and
Whereas, The Legislature is concerned that independent pharmacies may ultimately suffer from inequalities in drug pricing to the extent that such pharmacies may not be able to continue in business; and
Whereas, The cost of pharmaceutical drugs directly affects the cost of health care and insurance in this State; and
Whereas, Legislation proposing mandated equalization of drug prices has been presented to the Legislature in this State and in other states; therefore, be it
Resolved by the Legislature of West Virginia:
That the Joint Committee on Government and Finance is hereby requested to review, examine and study pharmaceutical drug pricing practices in this State and the specific criteria used as a basis for establishing such prices; to study the impact of discount practices in this State upon independent pharmacies, retail pharmacies and consumers; to determine the need for legislation requiring equalization of drug prices and the impact of such legislation on independent pharmacies, retailers, the elderly, the uninsured, the working poor, health care providers, insurers, Medicaid and the Public Employees Insurance Agency; to determine the impact of equalization of drug prices upon manufacturers, wholesalers, retailers and any other entity affected by the manufacture, marketing or distribution of such drugs; and to make recommendations to the Legislature regarding the same; and, be it
Further Resolved, That the Joint Committee on Government and Finance report to the regular session of the Legislature, 1996, on its findings, conclusions and recommendations, together with drafts of any legislation necessary to effectuate its recommendations; and, be it
Further Resolved, That the expenses necessary to conduct this study, to prepare a report and to draft necessary legislation be paid from legislative appropriations to the Joint Committee on Government and Finance.