By Robert Nott
Days remaining in session: 32
Cutting drug prices: Members of the House Health and Human Services Committee voted 7-3 on Monday to pass House Bill 51, which would create a five-member prescription drug affordability board to look for ways to lower the costs of medications, among other measures.
The bill includes a one-time, $750,000 allocation to get the board going.
A fiscal impact report says New Mexico and the rest of the country “suffer from very high drug costs related to the rest of the developed world.”
Citing a study by the U.S. Health and Human Services Department, the report says drug prices in the U.S. “are more than 2.5 times more expensive than [in] other high-income countries.”
Additionally, the report said, “a small survey of 1,170 New Mexico residents found 33 percent cut pills in half, skipped doses of medicine or did not fill a prescription to due cost.”
Gov. Michelle Lujan Grisham established a Prescription Drug Task Force in the summer to find ways to reduce prescription drug costs. Some who spoke in opposition to HB 51 said lawmakers should wait to consider it until the task force issues recommendations later this week.