Morristown, NJ

Gov. Murphy Announces Bill To Make Rx Drugs More Affordable

Morristown Minute
Morristown Minute

Gov. Murphy, three Senators & an NJ Assemblyman introduced a four-bill legislative package to make prescription drugs more affordable.

Gov. Murphy, Senator Singleton, Senator Vitale, Senator Pou, and Assemblyman John McKeon announced Monday, 2/14/2022, their support for a legislative package that aims to make prescription drugs more affordable.

The legislative package is a series of four bills that together aim to:

  • Cap out-of-pocket costs for insulin, asthma inhalers, and EpiPens
  • Allow NJ State to “join a multi-state purchasing pool” to negotiate more competitive Medicare drug prices
  • Oversee “mechanisms of Pharmacy Benefit Managers (PBM) while prohibiting certain business and pricing practices”
  • Set up “transparency efforts for pharmaceutical manufacturers, PBMs, wholesale drug distributors, and insurance carriers.”

The package aims to put in place transparency measures that shed light on the actual cost, trends, and other factors related to high prescription drug prices.

The following 4 bills were introduced as part of the legislative package:

  • S1614 (Vitale/Pou/Singleton): requires health insurance carriers to cover EpiPens and asthma inhalers, and limits cost-sharing for health insurance coverage of insulin
  • S1615 (Singleton/Vitale/Pou): establishes data reporting requirements for prescription drug supply chain; requires Division of Consumer Affairs to issue an annual report on emerging trends in prescription drug pricing
  • S1616 (Vitale/Singleton/Pou): Establishes transparency standards for pharmacy benefits manager business practices
  • Gov. Murphy is seeking a fourth bill creating a vendor to manage the operations of a Medicaid Multi-State Pooling Supplemental Rebate Arrangement program and uniform Preferred Drug List for the NJ FamilyCare program
“From the lifesaving medications to the pills millions of consumers take every day to maintain their health, lowering the cost of prescription drugs is a critical component of our broader health care affordability efforts, and today we are taking a major step forward for both short and long-term affordability.” – Gov. Murphy
“Countless New Jerseyans struggle to afford the expense of prescription medicine, especially senior citizens, low-income families and individuals, and those who live with chronic health conditions,” “These bills will bring more transparency and accountability to the drug pricing and distribution process, which will improve access and affordability for consumers. They also go a long way in limiting consumers’ exposure to fluctuations in the cost of maintenance drugs, like insulin, that for many are the difference between life and death.” – Senator Joe Vitale, Chair, Senate Health Committee.
“We must find new ways to make health care costs more transparent and to make prescription drugs affordable for all residents. No one in New Jersey should have to make a choice between buying medicine for a sick child and paying their household bills.” – Senator Nellie Pou.
“When at least 10 percent of American adults are forced to ration their medicine because they cannot pay for regular doses, the need for systemic change is indisputable,” “We must take a strategic approach to getting to the bottom of our state’s prescription drug affordability crisis in order to reduce the strain on our health care system and, more importantly, ensure every resident who needs medication can have access to it.” – Assemblyman John McKeon.

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