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NH State Senators Pass Legislation to Fight Skyrocketing Drug Prices

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Today, after months of hearings, AARP New Hampshire advocacy work, and volunteer dedication, NH State Senators passed the Prescription Drug Omnibus Bill (HB 1280) by a unanimous vote of 24 to 0. This bill will help to stop skyrocketing drug prices and provide meaningful relief to Granite Staters. Next stop for the legislation is in the NH House of Representatives.

AARP New Hampshire leadership and advocacy volunteers worked tirelessly for this result by implementing an aggressive campaign that included testimonials, letter writing, calls to senators, and our “sea of red” visibility at all hearings.

AARP New Hampshire is thankful for this bi-partisan and long-overdue legislation passing paving the way to lower drug prices for the thousands of Granite Staters who have had to deal with rising prescription drug prices for years,” said AARP New Hampshire State Director Todd Fahey. “Now, there is some hope for relief.”

In addition to AARP New Hampshire, the legislation was also supported by a coalition of organizations including New Futures and the NH Alliance for Healthy Aging.

Passing this bill is a major step forward to Stop Rx Greed in the Granite State where the average annual cost of prescription drug treatment increased 57.8% between 2012 and 2017, while the annual income for Granite Staters only increased 13.2%.

Specifically, the bill addresses a variety of relief measures including wholesale prescription drug importation, transparency in prescription drug pricing, and caps on co-payments for insulin. As a result of the COVID-19 pandemic and to expedite the senate’s ability to move on legislation, the bill grouped together several pieces of important legislation that were previously introduced as separate bills.

Prescription Drug Omnibus Bill - HB 1280

a. SB 685 establishing a wholesale prescription drug importation program and establishing the New Hampshire prescription drug competitive marketplace

b. SB 686 relative to prescription drug benefits paid by health plans and establishing the New Hampshire prescription drug competitive marketplace

c. SB 687 relative to transparency in prescription drug pricing and establishing a New Hampshire prescription drug affordability board

d. SB 688 relative to the pricing of generic prescription drugs

e. SB 691 relative to prior authorization for prescription drug coverage

f. HB 1281 requiring insurance coverage for epinephrine auto-injectors

g. HB 1280 relative to copayments for insulin

For the next stop in the process, the Omnibus bill will move onto the NH House of Representatives in the coming weeks.

Want to get involved? This is a great time to reach out to your representative to urge him/her to vote in favor of HB 1280. To idenitfy and contact your local represenative, click here: http://gencourt.state.nh.us/house/members/default.aspx

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