Representative Scharf: Bipartisan bill ensures access, affordability of prescription drugs

Representative Scharf introduces bipartisan bill to ensure access and affordability of prescription drugs
By State Representative Anna Scharf,

SALEM, Ore. – Representative Anna Scharf (R-Amity) is putting her efforts for the 2022 Legislative Session into a necessary Corporate Activity Tax exemption because of the impact it has on access and affordability of prescription drugs in Oregon.

HB 4094, which has bipartisan and bicameral support, would exempt pharmacies from paying CAT because they already shoulder the burden of higher prices when pharmaceutical companies pass the cost of CAT down to them. Pharmacies cannot adjust prices, resulting in slim cost margins that have forced pharmacies to close and hurt consumer options.

“Since the passage of HB 3427 in 2019, the CAT has seen multiple industries and business sectors requesting to be carved out due to the unintended burdens it placed on them,” said Representative Scharf. “Drug wholesalers and manufacturers are able to pass along the impact of the CAT to pharma by increasing the cost of drugs sold to the pharmacy. However, the pharmacy is unable to pass along any of the cost tax burden to the consumer. Pharmacies are being double taxed as they have to pay the taxes of the drug suppliers and again pay the CAT when they sell the drugs.

“This is not the first time this exception for pharmacies has been requested. However, with the closure of Bi-Mart pharmacies and many other small local pharmacies on the verge, coupled with the increased demands on pharmacies brought on by COVID19, now is the time to pass HB 4094.”