Executive Order

Executive Order #39

Relating to the Creation of the Governor's Task Force on Reducing Prescription Drug Prices

WHEREAS, prescription drugs account for 10 percent of overall health spending in the United States; 

WHEREAS, prescription drugs are estimated to cost Wisconsin residents over $1.3 billion in the year 2019;

WHEREAS,  Medicaid expenditures on prescription drugs reach well over $400 million each year in Wisconsin;

WHEREAS, the cost of prescription drugs continues to skyrocket, and studies show that Americans spend at least three times more for the same drugs than citizens of other high-income countries;

WHEREAS, the high cost of prescription drugs continues to be a burden on Wisconsin residents, with many reporting that they either skip doses or cut pills in half due to the difficulty of affording their medications;

WHEREAS, skipping needed medication due to the unaffordability of prescription drug prices imposes an even greater cost on the health care system as a whole, due to unnecessary physician visits, hospitalization, and use of emergency services;

WHEREAS, the prescription drug supply chain lacks transparency and assurances that savings are passed through to consumers;

WHEREAS, transparency and accountability are critical elements to controlling and reducing the cost of prescription drugs and improving affordability for all Wisconsinites; and

WHEREAS, Wisconsinites should be able to afford the prescription medicine they need to lead a healthy life.

NOW THEREFORE, I, TONY EVERS, Governor of the State of Wisconsin, by the authority vested in me by the Constitution and Laws of this State, including section 14.019 of the Wisconsin Statutes, do hereby create the Governor's Task Force on Reducing Prescription Drug Prices ("Task Force"), and order the following:

  1. The Task Force shall be chaired by the Commissioner of the Office of the Commissioner of Insurance or a designee. Task Force membership shall consist of:

    1. The Lieutenant Governor or a designee;
    2. The Attorney General of the State of Wisconsin or a designee;
    3. The Secretary of the Department of Health Services or a designee, who shall serve as vice-chair;
    4. The Secretary of the Department of Agriculture, Trade, and Consumer Protection or a designee;
    5. The Secretary of the Department of Employee Trust Funds or a designee;
    6. Four members of the Wisconsin Legislature, two representing each caucus;
    7. Other individuals appointed by the Governor to serve at the pleasure of the Governor, including consumer advocates, and individuals representing industries involved with the development, pricing, distribution, and purchasing of prescription drugs including pharmacy benefit managers, pharmacies, pharmaceutical manufacturers, health insurance carriers, hospitals, the business community, and organized  labor.

  2. At the request of the Task Force, all executive branch agencies shall provide technical assistance and expertise as needed.

  3. The Task Force shall advise and assist the Governor in addressing excessive prescription drug prices and the financial burden that prescription drug prices place on Wisconsin residents. The Task Force shall do the following:

    1. Gather and analyze data and information relating to the development, pricing, distribution, and purchasing of prescription drugs.
    2. Review actions already taken by Wisconsin and other states to reduce prescription drug prices.
    3. Identify opportunities to coordinate with other states and the federal government.
    4. Recommend potential actions, which may include legislative, legal, regulatory, or community-based strategies, that can be taken to reduce prescription drug prices in Wisconsin.

  4. The Task Force shall issue a report to the Governor on or before December 31 of each year summarizing the work completed by the Task Force and recommending potential action items to reduce the price of prescription drugs in Wisconsin.