RD563 - High-Cost Prescription Drugs in Virginia

Executive Summary:
The cost of prescription drugs has risen steadily over the last several years. This increase is evident in commercial market plans and state agency prescription drug budgets alike. Virginia’s total spending on prescription drugs has consistently trended upward over the past five years and exceeded $1.2 billion in FY 2015 from all fund sources. Rising drug costs also drive increases in Medicare and private insurance premiums, including those on the Exchange, thereby negatively impacting Virginia consumers.

Budget language from the 2016 General Assembly directed the Secretary of Health and Human Resources to review this trend and recommend options to address this issue. Specifically,

“The Secretary of Health and Human Resources, in consultation with the Secretary of Public Safety and the Secretary of Administration, shall convene a work group including, but not limited to, the Department of Medical Assistance Services, Department of Social Services, Department of Health, Department of Behavioral Health and Developmental Services, Department of Corrections, Department of Juvenile Justice, the Compensation Board, the Department of Human Resource Management and other relevant state agencies to examine the current costs of and protocols for purchasing high-cost medications in order to improve the care and treatment of individuals served by these agencies.”