We are not sure why there has been so much confusion around Senate Bill 450 and the Prescription Drug Affordability Board. Decreasing drug prices has always been a bipartisan goal. It affects everyone, no matter their party affiliation. Here are the facts.
When talking about the Prescription Drug Affordability Board, Gov. Chris Sununu said, “This bill 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.” The governor also explained how the board would bring transparency to drug pricing. He said, “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.”
We couldn’t agree more with the governor’s previous statements.
Gov. Sununu signed the legislation establishing the Prescription Drug Affordability Board on July 16, 2020.
Senate Bill 450 is being voted on in the House. The language in SB450 being voted on was written by Sens. Bradley and Sherman and passed by a unanimous voice vote in the state Senate.
The purpose of SB450 is to make meaningful updates to ensure the board can properly serve Granite Staters. Specifically, this bill creates a non-lapsing fund to collect already established fees to pay the board’s expenses, makes it easier to form a quorum, and establishes the executive director’s position as an unclassified position. It also creates an appeals process for decisions made by the Board. This will help strike a balance between the needs of patients and businesses while making prescription drugs more affordable—a concern shared by 85 percent of Granite Staters over the age of 45.
It does not create a new board because the board already exists. It only empowers the existing board to accomplish its goal of lowering prescription drug prices and providing recommendations to the legislature.
The House has had ample time to study SB450 – there is no reason to study this bill to death. It is simply a housekeeping measure. When SB 450 is brought to the House floor, we urge all legislators to vote against the “interim study” recommendation for Senate Bill 450 and instead vote “ought to pass.”
Passing SB 450 serves our constituents by creating greater transparency across the pharmaceutical industry. We must listen to the concerns of our constituents and help lower drug prices by voting to support SB 450.