The state’s unfair sales act is in place to protect from predatory pricing where generally larger retailers attempt to undercut their competition. The Pharmacy Society of Wisconsin questions why prescription drugs should be treated differently that other merchandise that is covered. At a Senate Committee on Public Health hearing Thursday, Tom Engels with the PSW testified against a bill that would exclude prescriptions.
Tom Engels (4:58)
A coalition, ranging from unions to seniors advocates, is in support of AB 482. Proponents say the minimum mark up requirement prevents big box stores from selling $4 prescriptions as seen in other states. Tom Frazier, Former Director of the Coalition of Wisconsin Aging Groups, says this will result in “millions of dollars” in savings for consumers.
Engels said claims of the money that consumers will save “have been wildly overstated,” as costlier drugs will not be affected by a change in the law. Because the wholesale cost of prescriptive drugs is privileged information, panel lawmakers also questioned the accuracy of “millions” figure. The proponents of the bill say the information is compared to other states that have passed similar measures.
Senator Tim Carpenter (D-Milwaukee), committee chair and co-sponsor of the bill, says Assembly lawmakers, in passing the measure, added an amendment that will prohibit “attempted monopolizing of the market.”
Governor Jim Doyle says he’ll support the bill if it gets to his desk.