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.
OCAP’s Work in 2021:
Transparency laws passed by the Oregon Legislature have confirmed what we suspected: Prescriptions cost too much because Pharma charges too much. But we don’t have to accept it. Prescription medications are vital to Oregonians’ health, safety, and quality of life. As Oregon copes with the COVID-19 pandemic, an economic crisis, and communities devastated by wildfires – now, more than ever, prescription drug prices must be affordable for state and local governments, as well as the seniors and families who depend on them.
Oregon is building momentum in the fight to curb prescription drug prices – but price transparency is not enough. We need to take action in 2021 to help protect seniors and other Oregonians who depend on prescriptions to live with dignity and survive.
During the 2021 legislative session, OCAP is focused on passing these three priority bills:
- Senate Bill 844: Create Prescription Drug Affordability Board: Drug prices have become increasingly unaffordable for Oregonians, employers, and state and local governments because of uncontrolled pricing by drug manufacturers. By creating a Prescription Drug Affordability Board, Oregon can identify prescription drug products that cause affordability challenges, set an upper payment limit for those drugs, and penalize emergency price gouging by Pharma.
- Senate Bill 764: Prohibit Pay-for-Delay of Less Expensive Generic Drugs: Pharma manufacturers often pay generic drug manufacturers to delay distribution of less costly generic drugs in order to enrich their profits. Prohibiting pay-for-delay of generic drugs will ensure less expensive medications become available sooner, and give the State of Oregon power to take action against pharmaceutical companies that fail to comply.
- Senate Bill 763: Require Ethics Education, Registration of, and Disclosure by Prescription Drug Sales Representatives: Pharmaceutical lobbying of health care providers behind closed doors has increased drug prices for Oregonians. Oregon can lift the veil on pharmaceutical drug sale practices by requiring registration to market products, education on ethical standards, and disclosure of interactions with providers.
OCAP’s Record of Success:
- 2018: HB 4005, the Prescription Drug Pricing Transparency Act, was passed 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.
- 2019: OCAP announced a robust legislative agenda for 2019 that focused on bills that were designed to make an immediate impact for Oregonians unable to afford their prescriptions. Our number one priority was passing HB 2658, 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: 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.
- John Mullin, Board Chair (former HSCO Chair, Oregon Law Center, and AARP Oregon)
- Amy Fauver, Board Treasurer (Kaiser Permanente)
- Pamela Leavitt, Board Member (PacificSource)
- Jared Mason-Gere, Board Member (Oregon Education Association)
- Dan Torres, Board Member (Oregon AFSCME Council 75)
- Joan Morgan, Board Member (Consumer)
- Akil Patterson, Board Member (Oregon Nurses Association)