Governor Chris Sununu Testifies Before Senate Commerce Committee
Concord, NH – Today, Governor Chris Sununu testified before the Senate Commerce Committee in support of Senate Bill 685, establishing a wholesale prescription drug importation program, as well as Senate Bill 687 and Senate Bill 690. A copy of Governor Sununu's remarks as prepared are below:
I am pleased to join you today in support of three common sense measures that will help to provide prescription drug price relief to thousands of Granite Staters.
Skyrocketing drug prices are harming the health and well-being of Granite State families, especially our seniors who are on fixed incomes and can least afford spikes in costs.
More than 500,000 people over age 50 live in New Hampshire. The average older American takes 4.5 prescription drugs daily on a chronic basis. The average annual cost of prescription drug treatment increased 57.8% between 2012 and 2017 in New Hampshire.
The bills before you this afternoon will help to bend that curve. In some cases it will come with increased competition, in others greater oversight in pricing and in others with greater transparency.
- SB 685: Drug Affordability, will allow us to import lower-cost prescription drugs from Canada. The federal government is already experimenting with a pilot program in Florida with this concept and I am eager for New Hampshire to be able to take advantage of importation down the road. I have spoken directly with the Trump Administration about allowing New Hampshire to be part of the program.
- SB 690: Is a common sense measure with an eye toward drug accessibility. It will prevent insurance companies from changing drug coverage in the middle of a plan year.
- SB 687: Drug Price Transparency, will create a drug affordability board in New Hampshire to monitor changes in the cost of prescription drugs to keep the industry honest and to keep an eye on prices to prevent price spikes.
Often, many of the challenges in health care can start to be addressed through greater transparency in pricing. That transparency brings scrutiny and accountability as to why the cost of a particular drug is high or higher than similar drugs in the same class.
In 2017, 22% of New Hampshire residents stopped taking medication as prescribed due to cost. That is wrong.
These bills will help bring relief on the cost of prescription drugs and I ask that you pass these bills and get them to my desk as quickly as possible.