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Advocates to lawmakers: Prescription prices need to be transparent

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  • Staff Report 

Over 40 organizations, including AARP New York, doctors’ groups, communities of color, and clergy, are calling on New York lawmakers to support Governor Kathy Hochul’s proposed expansion of prescription drug price transparency measures. The provision, included in Hochul’s $227 billion budget plan, would require drug manufacturers to report planned price increases in advance, and would also expand the state government’s authority to investigate potential price hikes and disclose agreements that delay access to less expensive generic drugs.

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Some aspects of the proposal were included in the state Senate’s budget plan last week, although historically, the state Assembly has been hesitant to include non-fiscal policy in budget proposals. Supporters of the measure argue that it’s crucial for New Yorkers to know what they’ll be paying for the medications they need and that transparency measures have the potential to lead to fewer and smaller price hikes.

AARP New York State Director Beth Finkel expressed her outrage over the high cost of prescription drugs in the United States, saying, “It’s nothing short of outrageous that Americans continue paying three times more for the same prescription drugs as people in other countries while prices here continue skyrocketing.” Finkel added that it would be equally outrageous if state leaders failed to take at least the modest step of ensuring New Yorkers have access to the information they need to make informed decisions about their health care.

If the proposal is approved, drug makers would be required to explain why prices are increasing and either disclose or ban “pay to delay” agreements in which brand name makers pay generic manufacturers to stay off the market.