Senator Joseph P. Addabbo, Jr. and his Senate colleagues advanced legislation to improve the accessibility and affordability of prescription drugs for all New Yorkers.
“This package of bills will greatly improve patient access to critical care and reduce prescription drugs for hard-working individuals,” said Addabbo. “Exorbitant healthcare costs have forced some individuals to forgo critical medications or delay seeking treatment while others have struggled with mounting medical debt. I’m proud to approve bills to help lower the cost of medicine, hold pharmaceutical companies accountable, and allow residents to afford the care they need,” Addabbo concluded.
In addition to cost-saving initiatives, the legislation will promote prescription drug awareness and provide information on cost-increase measures. One bill requires pharmaceutical companies to offer a sixty-day notice of their intent to raise the cost of a prescription drug if the increase is greater than 10%.
Bills passed by both the Senate and Assembly awaiting the Governor’s approval:
- S.4620-C: Requires health plans to furnish real-time cost, benefit, and coverage data to the enrollee, his or her health care provider, or the third party of his or her choosing.
- S.4856 (Addabbo Co-sponsor): Requires policies and contracts that provide coverage for prescription drugs to include coverage of an immediate additional thirty-day supply of a prescription drug during a state disaster emergency.
- S.5299-A (Addabbo Co-sponsor): Requires any third-party payment, financial assistance, discount, voucher, or other price reduction mechanism for out-of-pocket expenses made on behalf of an insured individual for the cost of prescription drugs to be applied to the insured's deductible, copayment, co-insurance, out-of-pocket maximum, or any other cost-sharing requirement when calculating insured individual's overall contribution to any out-of-pocket maximum or any cost-sharing requirement.
Additional legislation passed by the Senate:
- S.1413 (Addabbo Co-sponsor): Reduces the cap on cost-sharing for insulin from the current $100 per insulin per month, to $30 per month; Delivered to Assembly Insurance for consideration.
- S.1737: Creates a state program to import prescription drugs from other countries at a lower cost. In this program, a wholesaler is allowed to import drugs that meet U.S. F.D.A. standards from suppliers who are regulated and authorized under the laws of their country for distribution and sale only in New York; Delivered to Assembly Higher Education for consideration.
- S.3081-B: Prohibits selling a drug subject to a shortage for an unconscionably excessive price. The bill adds medicine to the list of goods and services as possibly being subject to price gouging. The classification of medicines falling under this section of the law will be determined by the publicly reported drug shortages reported by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration; Delivered to Assembly Codes for consideration.
- S.5489: Authorizes pharmacies to receive prescription drugs from other pharmacies outside of New York in the case of a public health emergency, guaranteeing patient access to medications; Delivered to Assembly Higher Education for consideration.
- S.7499-B: Requires manufacturers to provide notice at least 60 days prior to their intent to raise wholesale prescription drug costs to the Department of Financial Services if the increase is 10% or more of the total cost of the drug; Delivered to Assembly Health for consideration.