The state Assembly has unanimously approved new regulations for companies which negotiate prices between drug makers and pharmacies. Pharmacy benefit managers are regulated by federal law, but Wisconsin has no authority over an industry that the bill’s author, Representative Michael Schraa (R-Oshkosh) said has become a major player.

“Three PBMs now control 80 percent of the prescription drug market in the United States,” Schraa said. “We finally got to a bill, I think that will really benefit . . . really anybody that’s purchasing prescription drugs in the state of Wisconsin.”

Representative Deb Kolste (D-Janesville) praised Schraa for his work — but said the bill could have been better. “This bill is better than what we have now,” she said. “At least they will be registered, there is some relief to pharmacies and there is a small portion that is consumer friendly.”

State regulations would include requiring PBMs to be licensed. The goal – holding down drug prices. The bill still needs Senate approval.

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