The New York State Senate approved legislation to reduce the cost of prescription drugs, eliminate cost-sharing for insulin, and promote health equity for patients in New York State. The legislative package advanced by the Democratic Majority also features legislation to establish a wholesale drug importation program; limit drug manufacturers ability to stymie competing generics in the market; and requires certain rules when establishing a step therapy protocol to ensure that patients do not need to first try and fail on inappropriate medications.
Senate Majority Leader Andrea Stewart-Cousins said, “Accessible and affordable prescription medication is not a luxury but a necessity. I’m proud that today we are taking another step to address the financial burden high prescription drugs place on the livelihood of New Yorkers by reimagining how we manufacture and import these life-saving drugs to make them more affordable. We are dedicated to improving the lives and well-being of all New Yorkers by making essential treatments accessible to everyone. I thank the sponsors for advancing this timely and crucial legislation.”
Bill sponsor and Chair of the Senate Health Committee, Senator Gustavo Rivera said, “I am proud that the Senate Majority is taking legislative action to alleviate the financial burden many New Yorkers are experiencing, specifically when it comes to having access to the medication and prescriptions they need to survive. My groundbreaking New York State Affordable Drug Manufacturing Act will make New York the second state in the nation to collaborate with drug manufacturers to produce our own generic medications, helping to directly address our current drug affordability crisis. A second bill would eliminate co-payments and other cost sharing requirements for insulin, preventing New Yorkers from needing to ration or forgo insulin treatments to make ends meet. Lastly, another would make prescription drugs more affordable by expanding the EPIC program to more seniors. As our State faces an affordability crisis, the Senate Majority is eliminating barriers New Yorkers are facing so they can access the medications they need."