The Business Council opposes S.1737 (Skoufis)/A.133 (Gottfried) which would create a wholesale prescription drug importation program for the importation of drugs from other countries. Doing so would pose a major risk to the integrity and safety of New York’s prescription drug supply chain without significantly decreases the overall cost of drugs for New Yorkers.
In 2013 Congress enacted The Drug Supply Chain Security Act (DSCSA) – a system meant to track and identify each package of drugs and trace those packages as they are distributed throughout the country. This system protects both the quality and safety of the drugs and ensures that they are being utilized properly. The law put much of the onus of public protection on the states. This bill would allow drugs from many other countries, that do not meet the criteria of federal law into New York, thus undermining the state’s responsibilities under the federal law and exposing New Yorkers to potentially dangerous drugs.
Further, this bill would mandate that the Department of Health undertake the massive project of putting together a system for importation. The creation of this bureaucracy would be a tremendous undertaking, one that would require the hiring of staff (duplicative to those on the federal level) and would cost an enormous amount of money. Any imagined savings from this policy would evaporate under the cost of starting and running the program.
The Business Council has worked with our member and partners in the private and public sectors for years to help eliminate the opioid crisis that has ravaged our state. Throughout the healthcare system and in the workers’ compensation system we have seen significant improvement. The introduction of any program that would jeopardize this fight and make it harder to ensure the quality and safety of drugs imported to the state should absolutely not be considered.
It is for these important reasons that The Business Council opposes S.1737 (Skoufis)/A.133 (Gottfried).