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Senate of Pennsylvania
Session of 2019 - 2020 Regular Session


Posted: June 17, 2020 11:55 AM
From: Senator Thomas H. Killion
To: All Senate members
Subject: Lowering the Costs of Prescription Drugs
Last year, the General Assembly overwhelmingly passed historic legislation creating an online insurance exchange to make healthcare more accessible and affordable for Pennsylvanians. While Act 42 of 2019 helps to reduce healthcare costs for families, more can be done to lower the prices of prescription drugs.
In the near future, I intend to introduce legislation to make prescription drugs more affordable for all residents of the Commonwealth. Knowing the United States has the highest prescription drug prices in the world and with nearly twenty percent of all healthcare spending directed toward prescription medications, new measures to guarantee lower prices for consumers are desperately needed for all of Pennsylvania’s families.
My legislation will create maximum payment rates for prescription drugs sold in our state. These rates will be based on international prices which are typically much lower than prices for the same drugs in the United States. This legislative proposal will be based in part on model legislation under development by the National Academy for State Health Policy (NASHP).
Consumers and policymakers have been frustrated for decades as other countries have made prescription drugs available to their citizens at prices shockingly less than what families in the U.S. are forced to pay. Adding to this predicament is the fact that it is virtually impossible for states to import lower cost prescription medications for their residents. While international importation is not an option, under my rate-setting legislation we will be able to essentially import international prices.
I hope you will join me in co-sponsoring this important legislation to lower prescription drug costs for all Pennsylvanians.

Introduced as SB1315