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Coalition of Consumer, Business, Union and Advocacy Groups Call for Increased Rx Affordability and Accessibility
Date:3/12/2008

e budget proposals are essential for providing all New Yorkers with accessible and affordable prescription drugs."

Alan Lubin Executive Vice President for NYSUT said: "Average working women and men give whatever hard earned raises they receive back to healthcare and insurance companies because of the relentless increase in the costs of healthcare and prescription drugs. Since 2000, inflation has risen 18% but the amount that employees pay toward healthcare has skyrocketed a staggering 84%. We can do better. Through our collective strength, pooling our resources for bulk purchasing of prescription drugs, we can save New Yorkers literally hundreds of millions of dollars each year and reduce the rate of growth of healthcare costs."

Chuck Bell, Programs Director of Consumers Union, said, "Consumers Union strongly supports provisions in the state budget to offer an EPIC discount card to uninsured and financially vulnerable individuals. Currently, the state's 3 million uninsured consumers have to pay full retail price for the medicines they need. Expanding the availability of EPIC discounts for early retirees, uninsured workers and others will help millions of New Yorkers to save money on the drugs they need, at little or no cost to New York State."

Danny Donohue, President of the 265,000 member CSEA - New York's leading union, stated: "CSEA has long supported the idea of New York State and its counties and municipalities pooling their buying power to get the best prices possible on prescription drugs. There are big savings to be gained for the taxpayers of New York and they should be pursued."

Russ Haven, Legislative Counsel for NYPIRG said, "At a time when New Yorkers are getting hammered by spiraling mortgage payments, high property taxes and skyrocketing gasoline prices, the state must use its purchasing power to provide prescription drug price relief for uninsured New Yorkers."

Bruce Ventimiglia, the Chairman of Saratoga C
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SOURCE AARP
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