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NJBIA testified on Thursday against legislation that would place price controls on the pharmaceutical industry, which plays a pivotal role in New Jersey’s overall economy.

Bill S-329, which calls for the establishment of a Prescription Drug Affordability Board, was advanced by the Senate Health, Human Services and Senior Citizens Committee.

In her written testimony to the committee, NJBIA Chief Government Affairs Officer Chrissy Buteas noted NJBIA’s continuous advocacy for high-quality, cost-effective healthcare. However, despite its intent, Buteas said the bill was the wrong way to address patient out-of-pocket costs.

“This legislation singles out one industry in a very complex healthcare delivery market to attempt to control costs,” she said.

“Rather than taking a holistic, systemwide approach to finding a solution to control consumer costs, the proposed Affordability Board focuses on one particular sector of the healthcare industry. The pricing of healthcare is much more complex than setting a mechanism to establish price controls for one segment of a multi-level healthcare sector.”

Buteas said establishing the board will “send a message to companies looking to R&D to not invest in the state.” She said it would also run counter to a vision shared by Gov. Phil Murphy and NJBIA to see New Jersey reclaim its role as the innovation state.

“New Jersey already lags our regional competitors in critical indicators of innovation, and this policy flies in the face of moving the state forward in the innovation space,” Buteas said.

“Drug manufacturers are presumed to set the price of the drug when, in fact, there is a complicated pricing structure that exists in the healthcare sector which controls price setting of drugs,” she added.