Buono Calls For Swift Action On Prescription Drug Price Registry

TRENTON – Senator Barbara Buono joined with Senator Joseph Vitale, Assemblywoman Linda Greenstein, the AARP and NJ Citizen Action today to advocate for the quick passage of her legislation to create the “New Jersey Prescription Drug Retail Price Registry.”

“We’ve found that when it comes to making prescription drugs more affordable, the old saying, ‘Knowledge is power,’ is really true,” said Senator Buono, D-Middlesex. “Consumers can save considerable money on their prescriptions just by shopping around and this price registry will make it much easier to compare prices at area pharmacies.”

The bill, S-1396, would establish the “New Jersey Prescription Drug Price Registry” in the Department of Health and Human Services (DHSS) for the purpose of making retail price information for the 150 most frequently prescribed drugs easily accessible by consumers. Under the bill, pharmacies would be required to report their retail prices to DHSS weekly in order to update the drug registry. Consumers would be able to log into the DHSS website to search drug prices by ZIP code.

“The price registry is going to be a real boon to New Jersey’s seniors. It provides a single place where they can get all the information they need,” added Senator Buono. “For seniors who have a tough time getting around, it might otherwise be difficult for them to gather this information and get the best price.”

The bill would also require the State Board of Pharmacy to prepare a list of the 150 most frequently prescribed prescription drugs and provide the list to pharmacies in both printed and electronic form. The bill would not prevent pharmacies from changing their retail prices at any time, provided that the pharmacy updates the price in their weekly report.

“The Internet allows people to price compare almost anything – from cars and electronics to clothes and groceries. Prescription drugs are the logical next step in empowering consumers to make well-informed purchases,” explained Senator Buono.

The bill is currently waiting for a hearing in the Senate Health, Human Services and Senior Citizens Committee.

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