Senator Joseph P. Addabbo, Jr. and his Senate colleagues passed legislation to reduce the cost of prescription drugs and treatment for patients in our state. The approved bills include measures to cap the cost of insulin to $30; increase seniors’ access to prescription drugs; require notifications of drug cost increases to patients; and create a wholesale drug importation program. Together these initiatives represent remarkable progress in improving the cost and accessibility of crucial treatments for all New Yorkers.
“Families shouldn’t be forced to choose between paying their household bills and maintaining their health,” stated Addabbo. “Many prescription drugs, like insulin, are life-sustaining medicines which are a necessity, not an option. I am proud to co-sponsor bills aimed at lowering the cost and improving accessibility for critical treatments, and saving the lives of many residents in my district,” added Addabbo.
The prescription and health affordability package of legislation includes:
- S.504 (Addabbo co-sponsor): Lowers the current cap on cost sharing for insulin from $100 per insulin prescription per month to $30 per month.
- S.599 (Addabbo co-sponsor): Requires prescription drug manufacturers to provide at least 60-day notice of their intent to raise wholesale prescription drug costs to the Department of Financial Services if the increase is 10 percent or more of the total cost of the drug.
- S.604 (Addabbo co-sponsor): Establishes an importing program for wholesale prescription drugs from countries with consumer safety comparable to the U.S. drug supply chain and where significant consumer cost savings are possible.
- S.966 (Addabbo co-sponsor): Removes the barrier that requires all participants to have a Medicare Part D plan and allows those who have comparable coverage to be eligible for EPIC, if they otherwise meet the qualifications.
- S.608A: Prohibits price gouging for drugs subject to a shortage, and holds any party in the chain of distribution liable to civil penalties, for charging an excessive price.
- S.982: Allows unregistered pharmacies from outside New York to ship, mail, or deliver prescription drugs to pharmacies in-state, in cases of a specific patient need or a declared public health emergency.
- S.1267: Ensures patients do not need to try and fail repeatedly on inappropriate medications, and that step therapy protocols to do not cause significant delays in access to the prescribed medication. Step therapy protocols that ignore prior failures or cause long delays can result in adverse events, including disease progression and relapse. “I am hopeful the Assembly will now prioritize these bills so that the cost and availability of prescription drugs in no way affects the ability of a patient to receive the care needed or the quality care they deserve,” Addabbo concluded. These bills passed in the Senate now go to the Assembly for consideration.