Testimony before the Vermont Senate Committee on Health and Welfare
Wednesday February 18th, 2009
Sharon Treat
Senator Douglas Racine
Chair, Senate Committee on Health and Welfare
Vermont Senate
Montpelier, Vermont

Re: Testimony on J.R.S. 18 - Joint resolution relating to prescription drug pricing (Senator Mullin)

Dear Senator Racine and Members of the Senate Committee on Health and Welfare:

Good afternoon and thank you for the invitation to testify before your Committee concerning Senator Mullin’s Joint resolution on drug pricing.

I am Sharon Treat, a Maine State Representative and Executive Director of the National Legislative Association on Prescription Drug Prices (NLARx), a nonprofit, nonpartisan organization of state legislators who network across state lines to find ways to reduce prescription drug costs and expand access to medicines. We’re pleased to include the Vermont Legislature as one of our earliest and most active members. Senator Mullin has been a leader on prescription drug issues for many years and currently serves as Vice Chair of our board.

J.R.S. 18 has six specific recommendations, (which I will list here out of the order they are drafted in the Resolution so that I can group into broader subject categories):

  1. Require any pharmaceutical company which receives or benefits from any federal funding for pharmaceutical research and development to amortize all of the company’s research and development costs over the entire world market for prescription drugs;
  2. Repeal the federal statutory patent infringement provision that enables the delay of the introduction of generic drugs to the public marketplace;
  3. Amend 42 U.S.C. § 381 and other related statutes so as to allow for the free trade of prescription drugs between Canada and the United States;
  4. Allow the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid to negotiate with pharmaceutical companies for rebates and discounts in the Medicare Part D program;
  5. Restrain the huge expenditures by pharmaceutical companies on advertising and marketing; and
  6. Urge the federal Food and Drug Administration (FDA) to institute a moratorium on the promotion of prescription drugs directly to consumers, during which moratorium, the FDA must promulgate more effective regulations to address prescription drug advertisements directed at consumers.
I will address these recommendations in turn.

PDF icon    Full Testimony of NLARx Director Sharon Treat, PDF (106 KB PDF)
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Sharon Treat

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