Ramos: Legislation to Lower Prescription Drug Costs Passes Assembly
June 20, 2008
Assemblyman Phil Ramos (D-Central Islip) announced Assembly passage of legislation he sponsored aimed at countering soaring prescription drug prices. The bill establishes a Prescription Drug Assistance Program to harness consumer purchasing power by negotiating rebates with suppliers; rebates are then applied toward reduced prescription drug costs for participants (A.3848-B). “It is unacceptable that prescription drugs are too expensive for many New Yorkers who need them,” Ramos said. “If we give the state the power to negotiate on the buyer’s behalf, prescription drug prices could be substantially reduced, making them more accessible and affordable.” The program will provide prescription drugs at lower prices through bulk purchasing and rebates for public employees and other participants who may join, Ramos said. It will be open to individuals without prescription coverage and those facing gaps in coverage, regardless of age, who meet certain income requirements. The legislation also:
- creates the Prescription Drug Discount Card;
- outlines the distribution of the rebate funds to retailers or individual participants, as appropriate; and
- promotes the program through state Department of Health education and outreach.