Health & Wellness

Piscataway: Congressman Pallone to Introduce Bill to Reduce Prescription Drug Costs

85b069d5c6417add04d0_3c41805cec602a632df0_IMG_2965.JPG
Congressman Frank Pallone, Jr. greets members of the Piscataway Senior Center where he announced proposed legislation to reduce prescription drug costs. Credits: Kenneth Simmons
28b8d03dcac58d47ffb1_73ac4058a96a420aed6e_IMG_2953.JPG
Piscataway Mayor, Brian C. Wahler greets members of the Piscataway Senior Center Credits: Kenneth Simmons
1b53b98c8d55e6a9de64_IMG_2959.JPG
Ronald Rios, Middlesex County Freeholder Director greets members of the Piscataway Senior Center Credits: Kenneth Simmons
997efa55fd3acb37132c_e8ad7602390474e8ccfb_IMG_2976.JPG
Congressman Pallone to Introduce Bill to Reduce Prescription Drug Costs for Seniors and Working Families Credits: Kenneth Simmons
85b069d5c6417add04d0_3c41805cec602a632df0_IMG_2965.JPG

PISCATAWAY, NJ – Reducing the high cost of prescription medication was the lunchtime topic at the Piscataway Senior Center on Monday where Congressman Frank Pallone, Jr. (NJ-6) announced his proposed legislation for drug price controls, and how the federal government could require drug makers to be more accountable and transparent with pricing and production information.

His proposed legislation, to be introduced this fall would help reduce the cost of those prescriptions for seniors and working families.

“Prescription drug prices are higher than ever and American families and our health care system are suffering from staggering price hikes,” said Pallone, the Ranking Member of the Energy and Commerce Committee, which oversees healthcare. “It’s time to find workable solutions that will encourage the development of affordable and high-quality drugs.”

Sign Up for E-News

Pallone’s proposed legislation also calls for Medicare to be able to help negotiate the costs of brand name and generic forms of drugs with pharmaceutical companies.

“The Feds could do more to control costs since they already negotiate rates for the military which could be done for others,” he said, explaining how annual drug spending is expected to reach more than $500 billion here in the U.S. next year.

He said the governments of other countries negotiate drug costs on behalf of their citizens, however Americans subsidize the shortfall to the drug makers which adds on to the prices charged here.

“As Americans, we shouldn’t be carrying the cost of other countries’ drugs due to their negotiated contracts,” said Pallone adding that the bill will also apply to putting in controls for biologics or generic drugs.

While a pharmaceutical company holds the patent for a drug, no other version of the drug can be produced, even with the use of other ingredients. However, when the patent expires, some of those companies try to block generic forms from being made, said Pallone which are often much lower in cost to the consumer.

The proposed bill would require drug makers to provide more transparency with production information and safety records when the patent expires. “You can’t use safety and other reasons to keep others from producing a generic version of a drug,” said Pallone.

But even with lower cost generics available, Pallone acknowledged that some seniors will continue to use only the more expensive brand names because of the perception that they are safer. “The biggest problem is a lot of the ingredients come from overseas” which could affect quality control, he said. “Proper oversight is needed.”

“Drug prices impact local governments, too, through the employee’s plans at the county and state levels” said Piscataway Mayor Brian Wahler. “This has to do with all facets of government and even affects property taxes. This is a very big issue not only for the individual, but for all municipal governments in general.”

“We encourage generics whenever possible to bring down the cost to the municipal government of providing health coverage for town employees,” said Wahler.

Christine Harris, a member of the senior center who attended the announcement said she expects the price controls to be helpful to her friends and family who pay high deductibles for their prescriptions, or make up for spending overages at the end of the year.

“If they can close the gap it would be great for most folks,” said Harris about the proposed legislation. “The costs of the drugs definitely need to go down so we don’t have to go outside of the US or online to get our medications.”

Lowering the cost of prescription drugs is a major part of the Democrats’ Better Deal agenda which among other items, targets lowering the cost of living for families.

TAPintoPiscataway.net is an online newspaper serving the Township of Piscataway. Sign up for our FREE daily eNews and follow us on Facebook and Twitter @PiscatawayTAP.

Businesses: Advertise with TAPinto Piscataway. Click here for more information.

Download the TAPinto App!   Click here for Android.  Click here for iOS.

TAP Into Another Town's News:

You May Also Be Interested In

Sign Up for E-News

South Brunswick-Cranbury

Police Blotter

South Brunswick and Cranbury Police Blotter

August 9, 2017

Sponsored by Reilly's Collision Center in Monmouth Junction. Click here and scroll down for the latest updates and alerts from South Brunswick and Cranbury Police.

See the most recent messages from South Brunswick Twp Police Department, powered by Nixle.

Upcoming Events

Sun, February 25, 11:00 AM

East Brunswick Jewish Center, East Brunswick

PurimFest

Arts & Entertainment Other Religions And Spirituality

Sun, February 25, 1:00 PM

St. David's Episcopal Church, Cranbury

Organizing for the 2018 Mid-terms: Elections, ...

Education Giving Back Government

Sat, March 3

New Jersey Dance Theatre Ensemble, Summit

NJDTE Summer Dance Intensive & Young Dancers ...

Arts & Entertainment Education

Nutley Police Department: Video Does Not Contain Direct Threat to Nutley Public Schools

February 16, 2018

NUTLEY, NJ - The Nutley Police Department report that the video that led to Nutley Public Schools being closed did not post a direct threat to any of the township's schools.

Police report that the person responsible for the video has been cooperating with the Nutley Police Department in their investigation. Interviews are on-going, The department is also investigating all ...

East Brunswick Business Owner Sues to Stop New Hotel Going Up in New Brunswick

February 16, 2018

NEW BRUNSWICK, NJ -The owners of an East Brunswick hotel are suing to halt the construction of another such establishment a few miles away in New Brunswick.

Shan & Dylan LLC, who own a Comfort Suites just off Route 18, filed suit in an effort to press the New Brunswick Planning Board to rescind its approval of the four-story hotel, which ​was issued in November.

That proposal calls for ...

South Brunswick: Volunteer Soccer Coach Charged With Possessing And Distributing Child Pornography

SOUTH BRUNSWICK, NJ – A volunteer youth soccer coach and former Sunday school teacher is charged with possessing and distributing child pornography, officials said Thursday.

FBI agents and local law enforcement arrested Waldo Milla-Guerra, 49, at his Kendall Park home Thursday morning after executing a search warrant, officials said.

Milla-Guerra, a volunteer soccer coach with the ...

Rutgers to Host Exhibit of Sen. Frank Lautenberg Papers

NEW BRUNSWICK, NJ - Frank Lautenberg, New Jersey’s longest-serving U.S. senator, left an outsize imprint on state politics and national policy by the time he died while in office, in 2013.

His papers, now curated and maintained by the Rutgers University Libraries, encompass 2,250 boxes of hats, buttons, campaign stickers, vinyl records, paper documents and other artifacts that, laid end ...

Prayers the Devil Answers by Sharyn McCrumb

Prayers the Devil Answers by Sharyn McCrumb (Altria, 2015)

 

Years later, after the tragedy, someone remembered the Dumb Supper and what had happened there. That was the cause of it, they said, because the ritual wasn't a game after all. It really was magic, but magic has rules, and she broke them. Even when they call it a 'senseless tragedy,' people always try to find a ...

Super Carb Diet by Bob Harper

Super Carb Diet by Bob Harper with Danny Pellegrino (St. Martin's Press, 2017)

It's hard to go on a serious diet, one on which you expect to be successful and maintain a loss. Fortunately, in his new book Super Carb Diet, Bob Harper has given the weight watching world a sensible new diet plan to help achieve a healthy weight.

Harper, host of NBC's popular show The Biggest Loser, ...

Rep. Watson Coleman Statement on Indictment of 13 Russian Nationals

February 20, 2018

Washington, D.C. — Congresswoman Bonnie Watson Coleman (D-NJ) issued the following statement in response to the announcement by the office of Special Counsel Robert Mueller of indictments of Russian businesses and nationals for a criminal conspiracy to interfere with the presidential election in 2016:

“Special Counsel Robert Mueller’s indictments are the latest ...

Hearts for Horses Fundraiser on Feb. 23 benefits SPUR

Come in from the cold and join Special People United to Ride, Inc. (SPUR) at its Hearts for Horses Fundraiser on Friday, Feb. 23, 2018 at 6:30 p.m.

All proceeds will benefit the SPUR Scholarship Fund. The event will be hosted by On the Deck Restaurant and Bar and will feature live music and a 50/50 raffle. Food will be available for purchase.

Tickets can be obtained for $25 at ...

Author Donates Portion Of Sales To Equestrian Aid Foundation

WELLINGTON, Fla. — Author Shane Ledyard will donate a portion of the paperback sales of his latest book, “Sycamore Whispers,” to the Equestrian Aid Foundation through February.

Equestrian Aid Foundation provides financial assistance to horse people from all corners of the U.S. equestrian world who are facing catastrophic injury or illness.

Purchase “Sycamore ...

How to Talk with Kids About the Florida Shooting

February 15, 2018

Guest Column

The tragedy of the Florida school shooting is devastating leaving 17 killed and 15 injured. Our children can easily identify with what occurred yesterday. It will be the topic of conversation today in schools everywhere. School administrators are doing all they can to provide support and guidance. The shootings affect children, teachers, and school personnel. The ...