You should know that after ten years, Senator Bernie Sanders and some of the other Democratic Presidential Candidates, have decided to support and take ownership of my idea. This will help Senior Citizens with the high cost of prescription drugs by buying them in Canada.
It is important for you to know that back on March 25th 2009, when I was the chairman of the New York Senate Committee for Senior Citizens, I held a public hearing in Albany New York to discuss my Senate Bill #1645 which I introduced.
Unfortunately, at that time, the Senate leadership opposed my bill because of the great pressure launched by big pharma and their lobbyist’s against said bill. I’m so pleased to see that now, after ten years, Senator Bernie Sanders and other Democrats finally see the need of bringing down the cost of prescriptions drugs and making them more affordable, especially for our aging population. Finally my dream may come true!
Enclosed is a copy of the press statement that was released ten years ago, dated March 20th 2009, as a public service announcement on the public hearing.
I am Councilman Rev. Ruben Diaz and this is what you should know.
Senator Reverend Ruben Diaz to Hold Public Hearings to Allow Seniors to Obtain Prescription Medication from Canada
March 20, 2009
New York State Senator Reverend Ruben Diaz (D- Bronx) will Chair a Public Hearing on Wednesday, March 25, 2009 at 10:00 a.m. in Conference Room 6 of the Empire State Plaza – Concourse Level in Albany. This public hearing will accept oral and written testimony regarding Senate Bill 1645 introduced by Senator Diaz which creates the New York State Prescription Medication Cost Containment Program. The legislation is modeled after a successful program that was implemented by Schenectady County in 2005. Since the inception of this program, Schenectady County has saved a total of $5.8 million in prescription drug expenditures, including a savings of $730,000 in 2008.
Senator Diaz, Chair of the Senate Standing Committee on Aging, stated, “I am confident that this hearing on Senate Bill 1645 will support my effort to do for New York State what Schenectady County has done for its own seniors by allowing seniors to voluntarily sign a contract with CanaRx in order to purchase their prescription drugs. Senior citizens in New York State should no longer have to decide whether to buy groceries or fill their prescriptions.”
To date, the following people are scheduled to present testimony : Michael Burgess, Director, NYS Office for the Aging; Christopher Gardner, Chair, Schenectady County Attorney; G. Anthony Howard, President and CEO, CanaRx Services, Inc.; Jason Angell, Working Families Party; Craig Burridge, Pharmacists’ Society of the State of New York; Chris Ward, PhRMA; John Panichi, CEO and Barry McNamara, President, Benetech; and David McNally, Manager of Government Affairs and Bill Ferris, State Legislative Representative AARP of NYS.
Senate Bill 1645 will authorize the Executive Director of EPIC to utilize Canada’s research-based pharmaceutical companies in order to secure the best quality FDA-approved prescriptions at the lowest possible costs. This should result in significant savings to New York State.
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