Testimony of Rep. Sharon Anglin Treat Executive Director, NLARX Before the Senate Finance Committee Vermont Legislature
Friday January 18th, 2008National Legislative Association on Prescription Drug Prices
It is a pleasure to make a return visit to your committee to discuss new developments in prescription drug policy and options for Vermont. I am Sharon Treat, a Maine State Representative and Executive Director of the National Legislative Association on Prescription Drug Prices, 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 are pleased to count the Vermont Legislature as one of our earliest and most active members, and to have Senator Kevin Mullin serve as Secretary of the board this year.1 We also work closely with The Prescription Project, a national initiative with which we are partnering on issues of conflicts of interest and evidence-based medicine.2
With the recent passage of the comprehensive and forward-looking S.115 in 2007, Vermont has already taken many steps forward in one fell swoop. You are ahead of the curve, and when I testify before legislative committees in other states it is to Vermont that I frequently point – and not just because I am a native daughter. You are to be commended for continuing to ask the question “Is there more that we could do?” The answer is yes, there is more to be done, including some measures that may have significant, positive budget implications, which is of particular relevance to your committee.
Although there are other policies you might adopt, and I will outline some of them below, to cut straight to the bottom line I recommend two major policy directions: (1) aggressively implementing a 340B strategy; and (2) closing loopholes in your current gift disclosure law.
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Sharon Anglin Treat