Prescription drug price dashboard offers pricing comparison, transparency

As prices continue to rise with inflation around the nation, the Minnesota Department of Health (MDH) has announced a new informative dashboard that will allow people to keep track of prescription drug prices and increases. 

According to an announcement, the data is available in several interactive dashboards as part of the implementation of the Prescription Drug Price Transparency Act, offering both a prescription drug price index that allows consumers to analyze both prescription drug price increases and initial launch prices.

"Being able to afford your health care – including needed medications – is a critical aspect of well-being and peace of mind," Minnesota commissioner of health Dr. Brooke Cunningham said in a statement. "The data indicate some worrisome patterns of price inflation, and it is important to sharpen our focus on transparency and policy solutions."

More than 3 million Minnesotans – seven out of 10 adults in the state – used one or more prescription drugs in 2021, according to an analysis by the MDH.

According to the data, list prices for drugs with the fastest growing prices subject to Minnesota reporting rose on average 41.6% from 2017 to 2022. To compile the data, MDH collected and analyzed data from more than 200 manufacturers covering nearly 700 drugs. 

The Prescription Drug Price Transparency dashboards aim to provide transparency into the cost trends of prescription drugs in Minnesota. 

"These data will help us understand how prices are impacted throughout the supply chain and whether discounts are ultimately passed on to consumers," MDH state health economist Stefan Gildemeister said in a statement. "That will give legislators actionable evidence to improve affordability of prescription drugs."