Lawmakers look at the well-being of citizens and the cost of pharmaceuticals

Lawmakers look at citizens wellbeing and Pharmaceuticals
Lawmakers look at citizens wellbeing and Pharmaceuticals(Valeria Fugate)
Updated: Feb. 28, 2023 at 6:53 PM CST
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CHEYENNE, Wyo. (Wyoming News Now) - On Tuesday, Legislators looked at how they could help care for the state’s children and methods to keep pharmaceuticals affordable and competitive in the state.

The Wyoming Prescription Drug Transparency Act regarding the Pharmacy Benefit Managers or PBMs was heard in the House chambers for its second reading.

PBMs are corporate entities that control the pharmacy market and drug prices.

The Prescription Drug Transparency bill looks to help independent pharmacies while keeping the free market open, competitive and fair.

But lawmakers say that organizing everyone that was a stakeholder on the issue has proven difficult.

”That continues to be maybe the biggest issue. Is not everybody is at the table and not everyone feel comfortable, but everyone wants cheaper drug prices and wants to support their local pharmacies,” said Rep. Dan Zwonitzer, H.D. 43.

Later, lawmakers looked at the Federal Indian Child Welfare Act.

This bill specifies requirements and procedures for placing Indian children in shelter care or for adoption. Through this bill, lawmakers will create a state task force to determine best practices, codifying them while the federal law is being heard in the Supreme Court.

”This has I think a larger impact on the rest of the state when we may have enrolled tribal children from whatever tribe around the United States that find themselves in a state court situation and have the ability to notify their tribes on the diposition of those children rather than the state make that decision,” said Rep. Lloyd Larsen H.D. 51.

Lastly, the Medicaid Twelve-Month Postpartum Coverage bill temporarily extends Medicaid medical assistance to qualifying pregnant women for twelve months after they give birth.

The bill received some pushback for fear that this bill would create Medicaid expansion.

Lawmakers say this isn’t the case since it only covers women and babies who are already eligible from two months to a full year.

”The intent of that is if we have a healthy mom that translates to a healthy baby. Much more likely that baby will stay healthy if mom is in good health , if mom doesnt have problems, the baby is going to be better taken care of and will consequently be healthier as well,” said Sen. Fred Baldwin, S.D. 14.

The Wyoming Prescription Drug Transparency Act and the Federal Indian Child Welfare act passed second reading in the House.

The twelve-month postpartum bill narrowly made it under the Committee of the Whole and passed second reading on the Senate floor.