AARP New Hampshire volunteers showed up in full force at the NH State House on January 21 for Senate committee hearings regarding legislation that will help to #StopRxGreed for Granite State residents.
The hearing room was a sea of red with nearly 25 volunteers donning their AARP apparel. In addition to the visual show of force, three volunteers: Karen Ulmer Dorsch, Mary Roberge and Bev Cotton testified in support of the legislation. They were joined by AARP NH State Director Todd Fahey. Without a doubt, AARP volunteers are passionate about this issue!
Quick backgrounder on the three pieces of legislation:
It’s no secret that prescription drug prices are too expensive for the average Granite Stater. Drug Prices are out of control and Granite Staters are unable to afford the drugs necessary to keep them health and alive. For years Granite Staters have suffered under a drug pricing system that fails to deliver important medications at affordable costs. In our state, the average annual cost of prescription drug treatment increased 57.8% between 2012 and 2017, while income for Granite Staters only increased 13.7%.
In response, AARP New Hampshire, in collaboration with other organizations, supports three pieces of prescription drug legislation to fight Rx greed by taking on the issues of affordability, accessibility and transparency. These bills are:
- Rx Affordability—Senate Bill 685: This bill allows for the importation of some prescription drugs from Canada, where they are more affordable. Some basic drugs, such as insulin, can be much less expensive in Canada. As a result, Granite Staters will be able to take advantage of that price difference on life-saving medications.
- Rx Accessibility—Senate Bill 690 Consumers will be protected from sudden increases in their costs for prescription drugs during the coverage year, including the loss of access to a needed drug entirely or a dramatic increase in cost of a need medication when there is no chance of changing your coverage.
- Rx Transparency—Senate Bill 687: This legislation requires pharmaceutical companies to provide information about how a drug is priced and to justify large price increases (more than 20%). Additionally, this legislation seeks to establish a drug affordability board that will evaluates drug prices and set limits on how much certain payers, including state agencies will pay for high cost prescription drugs. As a result, consumers would pay less for certain drugs that the affordability board sets limits on.
There is still much work to be done to fight rising prescription drug prices. We are proud of our volunteers who are up to the challenge!