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State Senator

Matt Lesser

Representing Cromwell, Middletown, Newington, Rocky Hill and Wethersfield

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Lesser, Scanlon Participate in AARP Telephone Town Hall with Over 6,000 Connecticut Senior Citizens

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HARTFORD, CT – State Senator Matt Lesser (D-Middletown) joined State Representative Sean Scanlon (D-Guilford) and over 6,000 Connecticut senior citizens for an AARP Telephone Town Hall focused on lowering the skyrocketing costs of prescription drugs. Sen. Lesser said he was thrilled to speak to Connecticut residents on their health insurance concerns and answer their questions.

“I would like to thank the AARP for organizing this important telephone town hall and making it possible for Rep. Scanlon and I to touch base with so many Connecticut residents,” said Sen. Lesser, who co-chairs the Insurance and Real Estate Committee with Rep. Scanlon. “The AARP has been supportive of our health insurance reform priorities and the public is well aware that something needs to change. The high cost of prescription drugs is hurting Connecticut families, small businesses and seniors. This is an issue that is extremely important for the legislature to tackle this year.”

Sen. Lesser and Rep. Scanlon were joined by Nora Duncan, the state director of AARP Connecticut, and AARP Advocacy Director John Erlingheuser, who moderated the call. Residents had the opportunity to ask the lawmakers questions with the primary topic of lowering the cost of prescription drugs.

“Ninety-seven percent of Connecticut residents who participated in the AARP Telephone Town Hall want legislators to do more to lower the cost of prescription drugs,” said Sen. Lesser. “That is why we have successfully advanced legislation to the General Assembly to bring down costs and protect consumers. I understand how important life-saving prescription drugs are. For too long the prescription drug companies have been able to write the rules at the expense of the consumer. We have the opportunity to give Connecticut families, small businesses and seniors an equal playing field and finally lower costs.”

House Bill 7174, “An Act Concerning Prescription Drugs,” will:

  • Give authority to the Comptroller to create the “Connecticut Prescription Drug Program,” allowing individuals to enroll in pharmacy benefit terms negotiated by the state for its state employee pool. The Comptroller will also be able to make the state’s pharmacy benefit terms available to qualified private employees.
  • End “pay for delay,” practices, where branded drug companies pay generic drug companies to delay introducing a cheaper alternative to the market by requiring the drug to be sold at 50 percent of the list price for the time period of the delay.
  • Protect small pharmacies and their customers by preventing pharmacy benefit managers from hitting them with retroactive fees to recoup claim payments already paid to the pharmacy at the point-of-sale and provide a rebate to consumers at the point-of-sale
  • Establish a task force to study the feasibility of importing prescription drugs from Canada.

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