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June 13, 2024

Oregon Prescription Drug Affordability Board seeks public input about drug costs

open prescription pill container tipped over on its side has yellow pills and diamonds spilling out
Image by Liz Masoner from Pixabay
March 15, 2024

The public feedback from forums — including April 25 in Medford ±— will guide the state’s plans for potential drug price limits

By Ben Botkin, Oregon Capital Chronicle 

The Oregon Prescription Drug Affordability Board will have community forums across the state in April and May to seek the public’s input about soaring costs of prescription drugs.

The board will use public comments on the costs of specific prescription drugs as a guide when working on the state’s first plan for establishing price limits on prescription drug costs in Oregon. 

Prescription costs can make it challenging for Oregonians to access the health care they need. A 2021 survey of more than 900 Oregonians found that one in four adults opted to either not fill a prescription, cut pills in half or skip a dose because they couldn’t afford the medication. 

Oregon lawmakers created the prescription drug affordability board through Senate Bill 844, which passed in 2021 and charged the board with making recommendations to lawmakers. In 2023, lawmakers passed Senate Bill 192, which directed the board to develop a plan with public input on establishing price limits. 

“This will allow us to bring back a plan and pathway that will create public value for Oregonians and help address drug affordability in our state in the most meaningful and inclusive way possible,” Ralph Magrish, the board’s executive director, said in a statement.

Under the law, the board is required to submit the plan to legislators by Sept. 15 and include information such as the methodology for limiting costs, enforcement and and impact on the state, health insurers, hospitals, pharmacies and consumers.

Here’s information about the forums:

  • Portland forum: 6 to 8 p.m. Tuesday, April 2, Portland State Office Building, 800 N.E. Oregon St.
  • Lincoln City forum: 6 to 8 p.m. Tuesday, April 9, Lincoln City Cultural Center, 540 N.E. Highway 101, Lincoln City.
  • Woodburn forum in Spanish: 5 to 7 p.m. Monday, April 15, Woodburn Public Library Multipurpose Room, 280 Garfield St., Woodburn. 
  • Medford forum: 6 to 8 p.m. Thursday, April 25, Rogue Community College Higher Education Center, 101 S. Bartlett St., Medford.
  • Bend forum:  6 to 8 p.m. Tuesday, April 30, Deschutes County Library, 62080 Dean Swift Road, Bend. 

There will also be two online-only forums from noon to 2 p.m. Wednesday, May 8, and from 6 to 8 p.m. Tuesday, May 14. Go here for information about how to log in to those meetings. 

For more information, email pdab@dcbs.oregon.gov, or call 971-374-3724. 

Ben Botkin covers justice, health and social services issues for the Oregon Capital Chronicle.

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Bert Etling

Bert Etling is the executive editor of Ashland.news. Email him at betling@ashland.news.

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