Oregon Coalition for Affordable Prescriptions (OCAP) was founded in 2017 with a single goal in mind: lowering prescription drug prices for Oregonians. A diverse coalition of over 20 allies came together, including everyday people affected by high drug prices, health care providers and plans, labor groups, and community organizations. Together, we’ve been able to make a big impact in holding the pharmaceutical industry accountable for their outrageous price gouging.
Transparency laws OCAP worked to help pass in recent legislative sessions have confirmed what we suspected: prescriptions cost too much because Big Pharma charges too much. But we don’t have to accept it.
As Oregon continues to cope with the COVID-19 pandemic, an economic crisis, and communities devastated by wildfires – now, more than ever, Oregonians can’t afford to wait to rein in skyrocketing prescription drug prices.
OCAP’s Victories in 2021
OCAP and our allies celebrated two more victories in 2021 as the Oregon Legislature continued its momentum to help curb prescription drug prices and hold Big Pharma accountable. During the 2021 legislative session, OCAP worked closely with our partner organizations and champions in the legislature, including Sen. Deb Patterson (SD-10), Rep. Rachel Prusak (HD-37), Rep. Zach Hudson (HD-49), and Rep. Andrea Salinas (HD-38), to pass these critical bills:
- Senate Bill 844 will create a Prescription Drug Affordability Board (PDAB) in Oregon to help curb skyrocketing costs.Oregon now joins 6+ other states that have passed similar bills to review exceptionally expensive drugs that pass enormous out-of-pocket costs on to thousands of people who depend on these medications.
- Senate Bill 763 will help hold Big Pharma accountable by lifting the veil on back-door pharmaceutical drug sale practices.This bill requires pharmaceutical sales representatives to register with Oregon in order to market products, complete education on ethical standards, and report interactions with providers.
OCAP also worked to help move a third bill, Senate Bill 764, which would have prohibited “pay-for-delay” practices by pharma manufacturers who pay generic drug manufacturers to delay distribution of less costly generic drugs, and give the State of Oregon power to take legal action against pharmaceutical companies that fail to comply. SB 764 passed the Oregon Senate in April 2021, but due to time constraints did not make it to the House Floor for a vote.
These bills are critical victories for Oregonians who depend on prescription medications, but there is still plenty more work to do in order to rein in prescription drug costs for good. Stay connected with OCAP to receive updates about our top priorities for future legislative sessions.
Our Record of Advocacy & Success
The Oregon Coalition for Affordable Prescriptions has successfully helped pass four new laws aimed at lowering prescription drug costs and holding Big Pharma accountable:
OCAP successfully helped pass HB 4005, the Prescription Drug Pricing Transparency Act, with a bipartisan supermajority. Since then, manufacturers have to report increases of 10% or more through Oregon’s Prescription Drug Pricing Transparency Program. What we’ve learned from the data collected confirmed what we already knew: the pharmaceutical industry is making life-saving medications unaffordable for Oregonians.
OCAP successfully helped pass HB 2658, which creates 60-day advance notice of price increases. We knew that similar legislation passed in other states was effective in curbing price increases, and at the very least would give Oregonians time to find alternatives. The bill passed with overwhelming support.
2020 *Session Cut Short
During the short legislative session, OCAP worked to make drug importation from Canada a reality in order to provide Oregonians with desperately needed relief from high drug prices. However, the 2020 session was cut short after lawmakers walked out of the building and halted most legislation.
OCAP successfully helped pass SB 844, which creates a Prescription Drug Affordability Board (PDAB) in Oregon to help curb skyrocketing costs, as well as SB 763 will help hold Big Pharma accountable by requiring sales reps to register and report their activity to the state.
- John Mullin, Board Chair (former HSCO Chair, Oregon Law Center, and AARP Oregon)
- Pamela Leavitt, Board Treasurer (PacificSource)
- Inga Deckert, Board Treasurer (Kaiser Permanente)
- Dan Torres, Board Member (Oregon AFSCME Council 75)
- Joan Morgan, Board Member (Consumer)