NH DRUG PRICE RELIEF
This coming Wednesday and Thursday, the full Senate will vote on SB 685 and SB 687. Last Wednesday, March 4th, the Commerce Committee supported SB 685 and SB 687 with bipartisan "ought-to-pass" recommendations. The Committee has yet to vote on SB 690, but we expect them to do so in the coming weeks. Senators need to hear your story, make sure to call them before the vote on Thursday!
Together these bills represent a significant step forward to improve the health of the Granite State.
No one should have to choose between their health and financial well-being, yet more and more Granite Staters are forced to do so as prescription price increase year after year.
- Skyrocketing and unpredictable prices are forcing many to ration their medication doses or to forgo their prescriptions all together.
- In 2017, 22% of New Hampshire residents stopped taking their medications as prescribed due to cost, according to a survey by AARP. These cost-cutting measures are dangerous and put the health and well-being of my friends, neighbors and loved ones at risk.
- In the past five years prescription prices have climbed at aggressively fast rates. Since 2014, the price for all drugs, brand name and generic, increase by 32% while inflation increased only 9.69% over that same time.
- All Granite Staters are impacted, skyrocketing drug price increases are the primary driver of increasing health care premiums.
Together, SB 685, SB 687, and SB 690 will help relieve all Granite Staters from overwhelming Health care costs.
- SB 685, also known as the importation bill, would allow New Hampshire to import certain high cost drugs from Canada, as such the state could provide them to residents, insurers, and MCOs at a much lower cost than they are currently paying. Canadian wholesale distributors purchase prescription drugs from US manufacturers at a lower cost than the manufactures charge US based purchasers for the same medications. Importation of drugs that would generate substantial savings will help us move toward a more open and competitive marketplace that supplies American patients with safe, effective and affordable prescription drugs.
- SB 687 is a piece of legislation that would give lawmakers and the public a look into what is going with drug prices. Gathering information on price increases may not directly force drug manufacturers to lower prescription drug prices. However, they would provide policymakers with enough data to come up with legislative remedies, and it may help nudge manufacturers to rethink unnecessary and exorbitant price increases.
- SB 690, or the non-medical switching bill, would protect consumers from sudden increases in drug costs during the coverage year due to changes in the insurers list of covered prescriptions, known as the formulary. Currently under New Hampshire law, insurance companies can change or drop coverage of certain medicines during a plan year. Meanwhile, individuals are locked into their plan selection for the entire year, with limited exceptions, significantly reducing access to needed medications.