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AARP AARP States New York Advocacy

AARP NY: Rx Drugs Importation Bill Dies in Assembly, Dealing a Setback to Price Reduction Efforts


ALBANY, N.Y.AARP New York State Director Beth Finkel issued this statement today after the state Assembly failed to pass legislation (A.7954-A) that would create a wholesale prescription drug importation program to import lower-cost medications from Canada. The pharmaceutical industry was the main opposition to this legislation passing in the Assembly. AARP New York and over 30 community-based organization across the state asked the Assembly Speaker to support and pass the legislation.

“We are deeply disappointed that Assembly Speaker Carl Heastie and his chamber failed to pass this potentially game-changing legislation before adjourning today.

“New Yorkers, like other Americans, pay some of the highest prescription drug prices in the world. Far too many New Yorkers who struggle every day to afford the skyrocketing costs of their prescription drugs, and cost is the main reason New Yorkers don’t fill their prescriptions.

“We thank Senate Majority Leader Andrea Stewart-Cousins for her leadership in getting bill S.9838 (sponsored by Senator James Skoufis) passed in her house with a bipartisan vote of 58-2. She and the senators who supported the measure realize something must be done to bring down the cost of medications here in New York, where we pay two to eight times as much for the same prescription drugs sold in other countries, including Canada. It is unfortunate the Assembly did not get the job done.

“Florida has already received approval from the federal government to start its own prescription drug importation program to bring in far less expensive medications from Canada. New York must have the same opportunity, and the sooner that occurs the better it will be for all New Yorkers.”

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