A bill with bipartisan support was recently passed by the Texas House, aimed at reducing the cost of prescription drugs for Texans. The proposed legislation could result in significant savings of 60% to 70% on frequently prescribed drugs such as those used for blood pressure, cancer treatment and EpiPens.
The Texas House passed HB 25, which establishes the Texas Wholesale Prescription Drug Importation Program. This program permits the importation of FDA-approved drugs from Canada, providing access to more affordable medication.
According to WFAA, the bill gained widespread support in the House with a vote of 144-1. Senator Charles Perry, R-Lubbock, is carrying the legislation in the Texas Senate, and it is anticipated to receive strong backing and pass with ease.
One Farmers Branch resident stated during the public comment section that her health suffered after having to stretch out the use of her medications. The out-of-pocket expense for the diabetic prescription was $800/month. From Canada, it would be $295.
“I would buy 1 month and stretch it over 2 months. My blood sugar shot up, my weight went up, and I developed liver issues,” KayLynn Lyon said. “My skin and digestion suffered. Injuries took longer than normal to heal. My productivity at work and my quality of life at home suffered.”
According to Rep. Talarico, the proposed legislation demonstrates bipartisan cooperation in addressing issues in Texas.
“Texans pay the highest prescription drug prices in the world, more than any other industrialized nation. And that’s why 42% of Texans ration or skip doses. And it’s why a quarter million Americans die every year from not taking their medications. So, the status quo is unacceptable,” Talarico told WFAA. “It’s dangerously unsafe.”
If the measure passes and is signed into law it will take effect on Sept. 1, 2023.
“This is not just an ethics question. Healthier citizens become more productive workers,” Lyons said. “They are not taking disability nor retiring earlier, creating negative economic impact. Instead, they are producers and spenders in our local, state and national economies. Providing affordable, life-saving medicine is crucial to a sound economy. And, it’s the right thing for a Texan to do for their neighbors.”