New plan to lower some prescription drug prices in NJ
A new plan is being formulated to make prescription drugs more affordable for many Garden State residents.
During a visit to a senior center in Willingboro on Monday, Gov. Phil Murphy announced a legislative package of bills will advance prescription drug affordability in a number of ways.
Targeted price cuts
He said anyone covered by a state-regulated health plan or the state health benefits or school employee health benefits plans (about 1.4 million people) “will be able to get a 30 day supply of insulin for $35 or less, purchase EpiPens for $25 or less and get asthma inhalers for $50 or less.”
“We will initiate a new and higher level of oversight over Pharmacy Benefit Managers, and we will prohibit some of the bad practices that drive costs up," Murphy said.
Another measure calls for the creation of a new system “to collect, analyze and report on the entire process of drug pricing across the entire supply chain, from manufacturers to distributors, to those Pharmacy Benefit Managers and insurance carriers.”
Strength in numbers
The plan will allow the Department of Human Services NJ Family Care program to join a multi-state purchasing pool to negotiate competitive drug prices.
“We will join the growing number of states that are saying enough is enough when it comes to rising drug costs, by taking a long look under the hood of the entire process and then fixing what needs to be fixed," Murphy said.
Many are impacted
The governor pointed to a recent poll in which 1 in 5 New Jersey residents either did not fill a prescription or did not take their drugs as prescribed because of cost.
The legislative package will not apply to individuals in most private insurance plans, and it will not apply to those covered by Medicare, which is a federal program
The legislation announced Monday includes:
S-1614, which requires health insurance carriers to provide coverage for epinephrine auto-injector devices and asthma inhalers; limits cost-sharing for health insurance coverage of insulin.
S-1615, which establishes certain data reporting requirements for prescription drug supply chain; requires the Division of Consumer Affairs to issue an annual report on emerging trends in prescription drug pricing.
S-1616, which establishes new transparency standards for pharmacy benefits manager business practices.
You can contact reporter David Matthau at David.Matthau@townsquaremedia.com.