Drug Costs, Tax Incentives, Workforce Development Among Key Bioscience Bills

Issues & Policies

It’s not surprising how many biopharma bills were introduced this legislative session, considering the state’s bioscience investments, and that healthcare costs and quality are major concerns for the public and policymakers.
In fact, lawmakers introduced 42 bills related to the biopharma industry this legislative session.
Now that the public hearing phase is done and most committee work complete, a number of those bills remain for consideration before the General Assembly.
Here are the top 10, ranked by importance:
HB 5384 is a complex bill that:

  • Requires pharmacy benefit managers to register with the Connecticut Insurance Department and submit annual finance reports to the Office of Health Strategy with information on drug company rebates received by the pharmacy benefits manager and administrative fees paid by health carriers to pharmacy benefit managers.
  • Allows health carriers to file complaints with CID when a prescription drug’s cost rises by more than 25% or more and the price increase raises a health plan’s premium by more than $1 per month per member.
  • Requires the insurance commissioner to investigate drug price complaints and drug manufacturers to respond to complaint filings with information concerning use of the subject drug and all rebates paid by the manufacturer to the health carrier.
  • Requires drug companies to notify OHS when they submit new drug applications to the federal Food and Drug Administration.
  • Requires OHS to annually identify up to 10 drugs provided at substantial cost to the state or critical to public health and for drug manufacturers to report certain information on those drugs, such as their research and development costs.
  • Requires managed care organizations to certify to the insurance commissioner that the majority of any manufacturer rebates were passed on to the consumer.

Tax Exemptions, Biosimiliars

SB 266 provides a personal income tax exemption for income earned by active managers of venture capital funds.
SB 197 amends existing law to allow substitution of generic-like biosimilar medicines when biologic medicines are prescribed.
SB 446 requires Connecticut Innovations and the state Department of Economic and Community Development to develop short- and long-term strategic and marketing plans for Connecticut’s bioscience center.
SB 379 limits non-federally regulated (self-insured) plans from changing drug formularies during a policy term without 60 days prior notice. It also allows patients to continue using a drug on the same terms and conditions during the policy term if the provider deems the drug medically necessary.
SB 541 makes a wide range of significant and technical changes to several economic development statutes to encourage entrepreneurialism and growth of the “entrepreneurial ecosystem.”
SB 539 gives a microbiome working group the state established to develop a plan to foster the sector more time to submit a report to lawmakers.
HB 5275 requires DECD to study issues related to the state’s bioscience industry with an emphasis on efforts to build a sector jobs pipeline.
HB 5589 requires the commissioners of the Department of Revenue Services and DECD to analyze and make recommendations concerning the finance policies of neighboring states.
HB 5439 requires DECD to include information about the bioscience sector and resources for crowdfunding opportunities on its website.

For more information, contact CBIA’s Paul Pescatello (860.244.1938) | @CTBio


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