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State legislature to consider establishing drug affordability board

Winnie Brinks
Bryce Huffman
Michigan Radio

A Michigan State Senator is joining the effort to cap prescription drug prices in the Great Lake State.

Senator Winnie Brinks (D-Grand Rapids) has introduced legislation that would establish a Prescription Drug Affordability Board, similar to those already established in Colorado and Maryland.

"It's an independent board of experts that will research and review and establish upper payment limits for the most expensive prescription drugs in the state," Brinks said.

The five-person board of experts would be appointed by the governor under the proposed legislation, Brinks said.

Governor Gretchen Whitmer recently signed a new law aimed at regulating pharmacy prices. But Brinks said the state needs to go farther.

"Until we really start at the root of the problem, which is the original price of that drug from the manufacturer. We won’t really have the transparency or the ability to really reduce drug prices effectively," Brinks said.

The bill would need to go before the House and the Senate, and then Governor Gretchen Whitmer would have to sign it before it becomes law.

Briana Rice is Michigan Public's criminal justice reporter. She's focused on what Detroiters need to feel safe and whether they're getting it.