Transparency, competition needed on drug prices

July 2, 2020

Sen. Troy Singleton, a state legislator in New Jersey, shares why bringing down the cost of prescription drugs is even more critical amid the COVID-19 crisis.

Burlington County Times

Under normal circumstances, exorbitant prescription drug prices make it difficult for patients to make ends meet. Unfortunately, this reality is exacerbated even more by the current coronavirus crisis gripping the nation.

Prescription drug prices are escalating at an unprecedented and unsustainable rate throughout our country, and New Jersey is not immune. It not only affects the health of the people who rely on these drugs, but the wallets of every hard-working New Jersey resident.

Undoubtedly, everyone should be able to get the medications they need at prices they can afford. Yet, the rising cost of prescription drugs is adding undue financial stress and crippling American households. Paying for necessary prescription drugs has become a Hobson’s Choice in our state – with patients deciding to pay for medicine or go without so they can afford rent, groceries and other life expenses. While drug manufacturers maximize their profits, the result is a detrimental effect on consumers’ wallets.

As a state legislator, I have proposed needed reforms that would bring transparency and competition to the industry, but more must be done at the federal level to address this far-reaching, national problem. That is why health care stakeholders across the board should commit to enacting policies that preserve innovation and competition, while also promoting transparency to improve the value of medications for patients. Certainly, one should not end up in the poorhouse because they simply had the misfortune of getting sick. In the richest nation in the world, and one of the wealthiest states in America, this is unacceptable and simply unconscionable.

The time to act is now.

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