In an effort to check the increase in prescription drug prices, Vermont in March became the first state in the nation to require pharmaceutical companies to disclose to doctors the average wholesale price of a given drug.

But that's not all. Under the new legislation, drug manufacturers marketing a drug in the state must provide comparative price information for other drugs within the same therapeutic class, as well as the average wholesale price for a generic version of that drug.

The state hopes to lower its overall prescription drug tab by helping physicians consider cost information when writing prescriptions. "Giving doctors information about the prices of drugs while they are hearing about their benefits will enable them to better understand whether the newer drugs are worth the expense," Attorney General William Sorrell said earlier this year.

Vermont's law requiring companies to provide comparative price information to doctors is also a first, although a law in Maine requires similar price disclosure to the state.