Gov. Lamont lays out plan to lower cost of prescription medications

Lamont wants to rein prices in. His plan targets drugmakers by limiting price hikes to 2% above inflation. If prices go higher, pharma companies face an 80% penalty.

News 12 Staff

Mar 1, 2022, 10:29 PM

Updated 817 days ago

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Gov. Ned Lamont wants to lower the cost of prescription drugs, but critics say his plan misses the mark.
Pharmacists say people are choosing between food and drugs because some medications are that expensive.
Lamont wants to rein prices in. His plan targets drugmakers by limiting price hikes to 2% above inflation. If prices go higher, pharma companies face an 80% penalty. That money would go into subsidies to help people buy health insurance on Access Health CT, the state’s Affordable Care Act exchange.
"This is one small step. We have to make health care more affordable," said Lamont.
Dawn Hocevar is a cancer patient with stage 3 melanoma, who is also the CEO of BioCT. She says the governor's plan does not target the real problem, which is middlemen like pharmacy benefit managers.
"Where is the cost of that drug as it's trickled down to the patient? Where is it being sucked into?" said Hocevar.
Jobs could also be impacted. If the bill passes, Pfizer is threatening to re-evaluate its massive lab in Groton.
"Why single out innovative bio-pharma when we're actually delivering lifesaving innovations?", asked Pfizer Groton lab Vice President John Burkhardt.
The governor also wants to import cheaper drugs from Canada. Six states already allow it, but they're also facing legal challenges.
The Connecticut Pharmacists Association is raising safety concerns about Canadian drugs. But before they could be imported, Connecticut Department of Consumer Protection would need approval from Washington.
"The federal government has now said, 'Alright, we're going to let states explore doing this. Send our Department of Health and Human Services your plan for how you'll do this so that it's safe,’” said DCP commissioner Michelle Seagull.
One pharmacist in New Britain says patients need relief now.
"It's a struggle to decide between food, power and prescriptions. Prescription medications can save their lives," said Todd DeGroff, of Beacon Prescriptions.


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