Lawmakers take up legislation to address prescription affordability

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ALBANY, NY (WENY) — At a time when the cost of prescriptions continues to climb, state lawmakers passed a series of bills to address varying elements to the issue of prescription and health affordability.

One of the bills intends to reduce the cap on cost sharing of insulin from the current prescription price of $100 a month to $30 a month.

“The fact is, that insulin is a life sustaining medicine. It is not something, if you’re a diabetic, it’s not something you can choose to take, it’s something you must take,” said Sen. Gustavo Rivera (D-33rd Senate District), a sponsor of the cap cost insulin bill.

Rivera added some pharmaceutical companies have taken advantage of this fact by increasing the prices to the point where some people have to choose between paying for food or paying for insulin.

Some lawmakers said this package of bills hits different components of the prescription affordability issue. But Assembly Member John T. McDonald III (D-Assembly District 108) said the legislature needs to look at bills that would allow patients to pay for their prescription at their net cost, and to provide greater transparency between pharmaceutical manufacturers and pharmacy benefit managers.

“For far too long, I think the prescription drug benefit has been an opportunity for actors in that industry to make a lot of money. And the losers here are the patients,” he said.

Rivera said there is more that could be done to ensure transparency.

Moving forward, the bills passed in the Senate will now go to the Assembly. Sen. Rivera said it has to be passed in the exact same language in order for it to go to Gov. Kathy Hochul’s desk for her signature before it could become law.


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