After announcing plans in her State of the State Address to create a task force focused on lowering the cost of prescription drugs, Governor Gretchen Whitmer made it official today by signing Executive Order 2020-01.
The Prescription Drug Task Force will consist of leaders from the departments of Health and Human Services, Insurance and Financial Services, and Licensing and Regulatory Affairs, and from the Michigan Legislature.
Over the past six years, the average price of drugs prescribed to treat diabetes, heart disease, depression, and other common conditions has more than doubled.
To help remedy this, the Prescription Drug Task Force will identify strategies and recommend legislative and administrative actions that can be taken to increase transparency in the pricing of prescription drugs and to lower costs for Michigan families.
“Nobody should have to choose between refilling their prescription and paying rent, but that’s the current reality for too many Michigan families,” said Governor Whitmer. “There are people who are already struggling to get by, who know that any day, they could get a diagnosis that would put them in severe medical debt. That has to change. This task force will take us one step closer to increasing transparency and lowering costs for Michiganders.”
The Prescription Drug Task Force will be housed within the Michigan Department of Health and Human Services and will consist of the directors or the directors’ designees from MDHHS, DIFS, and LARA, as well as bipartisan leaders from the Michigan Legislature, including Sen. Winnie Brinks (SD-29), Sen. Curt VanderWall (SD-35), Rep. Angela Witwer (HD-71), Rep. Padma Kuppa (HD-41), and Rep. Hank Vaupel (HD-47).
“Right now, Michigan families are worried about how they’ll fill their prescriptions and put food on the table, or buy warm clothes for their kids to get through the winter,” said MDHHS Director Robert Gordon. “Our goal with the Prescription Drug Task Force is to lighten that burden for them. Everyone on this team is dedicated to lowering costs for Michigan families, and they’re ready to get to work.”
The governor has already taken action in her Fiscal Year 2021 budget proposal to rein in the cost of prescription drugs by creating a preferred drug list. This will save taxpayers and patients money and help lower costs overall.
The Task Force will complete its work and submit a final report to the governor detailing its findings and recommendations by August 15, 2020.
To view the full executive order, click the link below: