New Jersey Senate Committee Approves Legislation to Control Prescription Prices | New Jersey

(The Center Square) — The New Jersey Senate Committee on Health, Human Services, and Seniors has approved legislation to create the Prescription Drug Affordability Council.

supporters say S-329 would protect New Jerseyans from high prescription drug costs. But critics say it doesn’t present a holistic solution to controlling costs.

“Prescription drug prices have been sky high, making it almost impossible for some patients to afford the drugs they need to survive, with or without insurance,” said Sen. Jim Beach, D-Camden/Burlington , in a press release. “Creating a board is essential to ensure that NJ residents, healthcare providers, licensed pharmacies and other stakeholders in the state’s healthcare system are protected from high prescription drug costs. “

The bill allocates $1 million annually to establish the Prescription Drug Affordability Council within the Consumer Affairs Division of the Department of Law and Public Safety. The council includes five public members and three alternate public members with expertise in health care economics or clinical medicine.

“This legislation singles out an industry in a very complex health care delivery market to try to control costs,” Chrissy Buteas, director of government affairs for the New Jersey Business & Industry Association (NJBIA), said in testimony. writing.

“Rather than taking a holistic, system-wide approach to finding a solution to control consumer costs, the proposed Accessibility Council focuses on a particular sector of the healthcare industry,” Buteas added. . “Health care pricing is much more complex than putting in place a mechanism to establish price controls for one segment of a multi-level health care industry.”

According to lawmakers, several other states, including New York and Ohio, have created similar councils.

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