Legislation sponsored by Senator Dawn Addiego (R-Burlington, Camden, Atlantic) to help the uninsured or underinsured through the use of donated prescription and over-the-counter drugs was passed by the New Jersey Senate.
Sen. Dawn Addiego’s bill will allow private organizations to establish medication donation programs to help the uninsured and underinsured. (Wikimedia Commons)
“We already have a number of programs in place to collect unused medication so it can be destroyed, but just because it’s unused doesn’t mean it’s not useful,” Senator Addiego said. “Unexpired medication can and should be going to individuals who need it but otherwise might not have access to it because of how much it costs.”
The legislation, S-2560, allows private entities to establish drug donation programs where various healthcare providers, pharmacies and pharmaceutical companies can donate over-the-counter and prescription drugs for use by people who are uninsured or underinsured. It also provides the drug donors with a credit against their state gross income taxes equal to the cost of the drugs that were donated.
In order to be acceptable for donation, the medication must be unexpired and contained in a tamper evident package or sealed in single-dose units or blister pack. Medications that are classified as controlled dangerous substances would be permitted.
The legislation will also help the state save some money. If programs that pay for prescription drugs, like Medicaid and Pharmaceutical Assistance for the Aged and Disabled (PAAD) start getting a steady supply of donated medication, costs in those program could be reduced.
“As many as one in four working-age Americans skip taking prescribed medicines simply because it’s too expensive, and we’re destroying medication that’s perfectly safe to use,” Senator Addiego said. “We have a chance to help people get the medicine they need.”
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