GMCB Oversight of Drug Prices (S.98) - March 15, 2024

Jennifer Carbee (Director, Office of Legislative Counsel) reviewed amendments on S.98 on Friday. It is an act relating to Green Mountain Care Board (GMCB) authority over prescription drug costs. It specifies that the GMCB, in consultation with its own technical advisory groups and other state agencies, shall explore and create a framework and methodology for implementing a program to oversee the cost of prescription drugs for Vermont consumers and Vermont’s health care system. The Board shall consider options for and likely impacts of regulating the cost of prescription drugs that includes prescription drug affordability.

The Board is required provide its preliminary plan for implementing a program to regulate the cost of prescription drugs in Vermont, and any proposals for legislative action needed to implement the program to legislators by January 2025. The final plan will be due a year later.

She continued to discuss positions at the GMCB to lead the exploration, development, and implementation of the prescription drug regulation. A sum of $245K is appropriated to the GMCB from the Evidence-Based Education and Advertising Fund in fiscal year 2025 for the positions to be created. The GMCB shall also have legal assistance as needed from the Office of the Attorney General.

The Senate Health and Welfare Committee voted to accept the amendments reviewed by Carbee. The bill will like stop in the Senate Appropriations Committee next before continuing on to the Senate floor.

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