Health & Wellness

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 Plainfield

Obituaries

South Plainfield – John T. Felz, Jr., 71, passed away at his home on Thursday, June 14, ...
Read more

Letters to the Editor

Thank you Tree Olano!

June 13, 2018

To the Editor

We have been attending classes and functions at the senior center for several years.  We love the facility, the staff and especially Tree Olano. Life becomes so hectic and busy we forget to thank the folks that make a difference.  It is our pleasure to express our admiration for Tree.  She is so sensitive to the needs of all senior citizens.  Her relationship ...

Community Happenings

South Plainfield Jr. Baseball - Father's Day Classic

June 14, 2018

It's that time of year again for the SPJBC's 10th Annual Father's Day Classic Tournament.  Featuring a Round Robin format for 2018 that includes the following:

~Every team guaranteed at  least 4 games (weather permitting)

~Team Awards for 1st & 2nd Place Playoff Winners

~Maximum 5 Teams per age group

Saturday, Sunday & Monday June 16-18, ...

Franklin Elementary Marks End of the Year With School Wide Celebration

June 16, 2018

SOUTH PLAINFIELD, NJ – Franklin Elementary students in pre-K through fourth grade spent a picture-perfect June day outdoors this week at the school’s annual End of the Year Celebration. 

According to Principal Ralph Errico, the End of the Year Celebration is a highly anticipated day for Franklin students and staff. “It is a great way to celebrate another successful ...

Holy Savior Academy’s Championship Cheerleaders Seek Funds for New Equipment

June 18, 2018

SOUTH PLAINFIELD, NJ - The Holy Savior Academy Cheerleading Squad has kicked off a fundraiser to generate $5,500 for the purchase of much-needed equipment, such as new tumble mats, sound equipment, and more for the award-winning squad.

“The group of twelve girls range from 1st through 4th grades,” said parent Marybeth Parache, who is heading up efforts to raise funds.  ...

Line Dancing Event at Senior Center

June 12, 2018

The Borough of South Plainfield Cultural Arts Commission hosted their 2nd 2018, Line Dancing event.  A request for a Spring event,  from the South Plainfield residents and followers of the famous "Silver Spurs" line dancers, was honored by the Cultural Arts Commission.   The event was held on Saturday, May 19, 2018, from 7:00 pm to 10:00 pm, at the South Plainfield Senior ...

Road Closures - June 14, 2018

Today's road closures in South Plainfield due to road resurfacing -

Old Hamilton Blvd, Church Street and South Plainfield Avenue between Front Street and Old Hamilton Blvd.

New Market between Pitt Street and Hancock Street will be down to one lane most of the day for resurfacing. Expect minor delays. (Nixle A7BQY)

Upcoming Events

Fri, June 22, 7:30 PM

Crossroads, Garwood

Benefit Concert

Giving Back

Carousel_image_9a7d6e599775b1145bde_sparc_radio_logo_final_083115

Sat, June 23, 2:00 PM

South Plainfield

SPARC Reaching Out

Carousel_image_f442011d67fefc1cb5a2_spb-4937_newsletter_june_23

Sat, June 23, 7:00 PM

TD Bank Ballpark, Bridgewater

Somerset Patriots vs. Southern Maryland Blue ...

Carousel_image_0261cd4c5700fd63e54b_spb-4937_newsletter_june_24

Sun, June 24, 1:00 PM

TD Bank Ballpark, Bridgewater

Somerset Patriots vs. Southern Maryland Blue ...

Carousel_image_ba23f8d0d41677854e89_spb-4937_newsletter_june_26

Tue, June 26, 7:00 PM

TD Bank Ballpark, Bridgewater

Somerset Patriots vs. New Britain Bees Baseball ...

Columns

The Woman in the Window by A.J. Finn

The Woman in the Window by A.J. Finn (William Morrow, 2018)

 

A friend, whose opinion on literature I respect greatly, reported to me recently that she had just finished reading A.J. Finn's debut novel, The Woman in the Window. Of it she said, “I wish I hadn't finished it,” which I interpreted to mean, “It was so good I'm sorry that I finished it.” ...

Bookmarks

Well, we’re just a few days away from the beginning of summer.  That might be a surprise, since everyone seems to think summer started about three weeks ago.  In any case, no matter the season, there’s news from South Plainfield Library:

            First, be advised the Library will be closed this Sunday in ...

Suburban Woman’s Club Ends Its Year with a Big Banquet

Our country has a long and rich history of service clubs contributing to the growth of their communities but there have been signs in the past two decades that interest in these groups is waning.  Not so at Suburban Woman’s Club of South Plainfield.  Thanks to the efforts of Membership Chair Grace Bertucci, this past year seven new members joined this relatively small group of ...

Press Releases

Plainfields' UNICO Honors Area High School Students With Scholarships

June 16, 2018

At their annual Scholarship Awards Banquet on May 23, 2018, The Plainfields' Chapter of UNICO National honored 6 area high school seniors with scholarship grants of $1,000 each.  The high schools represented in this prestigious yearly scholarship program  South Plainfield, J.P. Stevens, Bishop Ahr, Piscataway, and  Middlesex High Schools. The recipients were the following ...