Prescription Drug Reform a Dangerous Pill to Swallow

Montesano Opposes Forcing Generics on Patients
March 22, 2011

Assemblyman Michael A. Montesano (R,I,C-Glen Head) opposes recommendations by the Medicaid Redesign Team that limits a doctor’s ability to prescribe the best prescription drugs for their patients. The proposed policy would force doctors to prescribe cheaper drugs that are considered ‘equally effective’. Governor Cuomo and the Assembly Majority both included this proposal in their versions of the budget.

“Doctors should be the ones deciding what is in the best interest of their patients, not an Albany bureaucrat,” said Montesano. “Cutting corners and using generic brands to make a sandwich may be ok, but when you are dealing with human life, there is no place for half measures. People deserve to have the best available prescription drugs at their disposal. I find this policy disgraceful and dangerous to the well-being of New Yorkers.”

The proposed policy adopted by the Assembly Majority and the governor would strip doctors’ ability to prescribe drugs that are not on the state’s preferred drug list, which consists of both generic and prescription drugs. The decision to use drugs not included on the state list would instead be left to a Medicaid administrator.

“This change places both the doctor and patient in precarious, potentially life-threatening situations,” said Montesano. “I believe we should empower doctors to make the most educated medical decisions. The Medicaid Redesign Team has offered numerous great ideas to cut and contain costs, but taking the best medicine out of the hands of patients and medical decisions out of the hands of doctors is not one of them. There are other ways to cut costs, like cracking down on waste, fraud and abuse. It is time to make cuts, but let’s not risk the health and well being of the millions of New Yorkers who rely on prescription drugs.”