March 12, 2020
Bobbie Burgess, BBurgess@new-futures.org, 603.225.9540x120
NEW FUTURES APPLAUDS NH SENATE FOR VOTE ON PRESCRIPTION DRUG PRICE RELEIF BILLS
This week, the New Hampshire Senate voted to pass two critical pieces of legislation to help address the rising cost of prescription drugs in the Granite State. SB 685, which will authorize New Hampshire to import certain high cost drugs from Canada, passed the Senate 24-0. And SB 687, which will increase transparency to better control prescription drug pricing, passed unanimously on a voice vote. Both bills will likely move on to the Senate Finance Committee for further review.
In response, Holly Stevens, Health Policy Coordinator for New Futures, New Hampshire’s leading health policy and advocacy organization, issued the following statement.
“Without a doubt, the high cost of prescription drugs remains one of the greatest public health challenges facing New Hampshire,” Stevens said. “From daily medications to life-saving treatments, prescription prices are rising at a rate exponentially higher than inflation. This is forcing people to ration their medication, or to stop taking needed drugs altogether.
“Together, these bills will help stop skyrocketing drug prices and provide meaningful relief to Granite State individuals and families. SB 685 will help Granite Staters to access lower cost drugs imported from Canada, which has long been able to negotiate lower prices. And, by both expanding pharmaceutical reporting requirements and creating a state drug affordability board, SB 687 will go far to help to reign in harmful and unnecessary price increases on consumers.
Looking forward, SB 685 and SB 687, which both have the support of Governor Sununu and legislative leaders from both sides of the aisle, will likely move on to the Senate Finance Committee for further review. SB 690, another prescription drug bill that proposes to protect consumers from sudden increases in prescription costs, is still under review by the Senate Commerce Committee, and will go to a full Senate vote in the coming weeks.
“By passing these two bills, the Senate took important steps today to advance the health and wellness of the Granite State. To truly maximize their impact, Senators must also pass SB 690, a critical part of this comprehensive reform package. We look forward to continuing to work with lawmakers to advance all three bills and give Granite Staters the drug price relief we so desperately need.”
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New Futures is a nonpartisan, nonprofit organization that advocates, educates and collaborates to improve the health and wellness of all New Hampshire residents through policy change.