The General Assembly has introduced the "Defending Affordable Prescription Drug Costs Act" as a new chapter (Chapter 19.3) to Title 5 of the General Laws, which addresses businesses and professions. This chapter is designed to protect 340B entities—participants in the federal 340B drug discount program—from discriminatory practices by health insurers, pharmacy benefit managers (PBMs), and other third-party payors. It defines relevant terms such as "340B drug," "340B entity," and others. The act prohibits discriminatory reimbursement practices against 340B entities, such as lower rates or different terms compared to non-340B entities, and prevents exclusion of 340B entities from payer networks unless applied equally to non-340B entities. The act does not apply to the Medicaid program's reimbursement for covered outpatient drugs.

The bill also introduces provisions against discriminatory actions by pharmaceutical manufacturers and their agents or affiliates towards 340B entities, ensuring they cannot deny or interfere with the acquisition or delivery of 340B drugs, except as prohibited by the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services. Violations are deemed as violations of the Rhode Island Deceptive Trade Practices Act, but no private or class actions can be brought under this act. The bill emphasizes compatibility with federal law and regulations, and states that limited drug distribution required under federal law is not a violation. The act, which aims to support affordable prescription drug costs and protect 340B entities, will take effect upon passage and treats each prohibited act as a separate violation of the deceptive trade practices law.