Gov. Murphy signs bills to help reduce the price of prescription drugs, especially for seniors

The three laws create new oversight over drug prices, limit some drug costs and track drug prices to get better insight into why they seem to be so expensive.

Matt Trapani

Jul 10, 2023, 9:26 PM

Updated 340 days ago

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Gov. Phil Murphy announced Monday that help affording prescriptions is on the way for New Jersey’s senior citizens – especially those on fixed incomes.
The governor signed three new bills that his administration says will lower the cost of prescription drugs.
The new laws are more than a year and a half in the making and are a product of extensive talks among lawmakers, the Murphy administration and drug companies.
State Assembly Member Roy Freiman said everyone agreed on three things at the start of negotiations: that drug pricing was a complicated problem, that drug prices were too high and that it was someone else's fault.
After months of negotiation, work and legislative action, Democratic lawmakers including Freiman and the governor were at the James Degnan Senior Citizens Housing in West Orange unveiling a partial solution.
The three laws create new oversight over drug prices, limit some drug costs and track drug prices to get better insight into why they seem to be so expensive.
The limits on pricing follow the lead of the federal government and extend the Biden administration cap on insulin of $35 per month to public employees and state-regulated plans. This is along with new caps on out-of-pocket costs for EpiPens at $25 and asthma inhalers at $50.
The new laws also create a state panel on drug affordability and a data recording system that will track the costs of drugs across the supply chain.
"We know that bringing the light of day into the process helps keep companies honest and prices down because other states that have enacted similar drug transparency programs saw major declines in the number of drugs with big price increases,” Murphy said. “But the fact is, Americans pay more than anyone else in the world for prescription drugs. So, we have to take a hard look at why that is, and we have to make sure that folks can actually afford these lifesaving medicines.”
The New Jersey Business & Industry Association said it has concerns about the message these laws send to drug companies that may be thinking of investing in New Jersey.
The governor said he respects the role of drug companies in the state's economy and that more transparency will help keep pharmaceutical companies honest.


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