AARP Eye Center
In Letter to Speaker Heastie, AARP Urges Assembly to Join Governor and Senate and Require Advance Reporting of Price Hikes, Go After Shady Industry Deals
ALBANY, N.Y. – AARP New York today called on the Assembly to join Governor Kathy Hochul and the State Senate and include in the final 2023-24 state budget one of the most comprehensive prescription drug price transparency reform packages in the nation.
The Governor proposed the reforms and the Senate included them, with modification, in its own state budget proposal – but the Assembly did not.
“Several states with price transparency laws have reported fewer and lower drug price increases,” AARP New York State Director Beth Finkel wrote in a letter to Assembly Speaker Carl Heastie. “There is no reason New York should not be a leader in the fight against unaffordable prescription medication.”
AARP New York announced the letter during an event across West Capitol Park from the State Capitol featuring a 20-foot inflated prescription bill bottle.
“High prescription drug prices are particularly burdensome for older New Yorkers, especially those on a fixed income who are hit hardest by the dramatic rise in costs for everyday necessities,” said Kristen McManus, AARP New York Associate State Director - Advocacy. “By joining Governor Hochul and the Senate in supporting drug price transparency reform in the state budget, the Assembly can help New York take a major step toward ensuring that residents of all ages can afford their prescription medications.”
So far 19 states including California, Texas, New Jersey, Connecticut and Vermont have enacted 26 drug transparency laws that have resulted in:
- An almost 80% decline in the number of price increases of 15% or more in Vermont for its taxpayer-funded Medicaid program between 2016 and 2020, and;
- 70% fewer reports of price increases in Oregon over its threshold of 10% or higher for drugs priced at $100 or more in the first year, from 2019 to 2020.
Last month, 42 organizations representing the aging, communities of color, labor, physicians, clergy and more urged both Speaker Heastie and Senate Majority Leader Andrea Stewart-Cousins to include in the final budget the Governor’s proposed reforms, which would:
- Require drug makers to report planned price hikes in advance;
- Expand the State’s authority to investigate proposed increases, and;
- Disclose ‘pay for delay’ deals that delay consumers’ access to cheaper generic drugs. Under these deals, brand name drug makers pay generic manufacturers to keep their cheaper generic versions off the market - for nearly 17 months on average, according to the Federal Trade Commission. With generic drugs as much as 85% less expensive than brand name drugs, delaying access to cheaper versions amounts to a price hike – costing American consumers as much as $37 billion a year, according to researchers.
Prescription drug prices impact consumers filling their prescriptions and paying insurance premiums as well as all New York taxpayers, who underwrite New York State’s $9 billion pharmacy budget.
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AARP is the nation’s largest nonprofit, nonpartisan organization dedicated to empowering people 50 and older to choose how they live as they age. With a nationwide presence and nearly 38 million members, AARP strengthens communities and advocates for what matters most to families: health security, financial stability and personal fulfillment. AARP also produces the nation's largest circulation publications: AARP The Magazine and AARP Bulletin. To learn more, visit www.aarp.org, www.aarp.org/espanol or follow @AARP, @AARPenEspanol and @AARPadvocates, @AliadosAdelante on social media.