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The New Jersey Business & Industry Association opposed a bill today that establishes a Prescription Drug Affordability Board, as it would place price controls solely on the pharmaceutical industry, which plays a critical part in New Jersey’s economy.

In testimony submitted to the Senate Health, Human Services & Senior Citizens Committee, NJBIA Chief Government Affairs Officer Chrissy Buteas said establishing the board will create what amounts to a hit on New Jersey pharmaceutical companies alone, hurting the state’s economy and private investment. The committee passed the bill, 5-2.

“The Prescription Drug Affordability Board is the wrong way to address patient out-of-pocket drug costs,” Buteas 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 explained that oftentimes drug manufacturers are presumed to set the price of a drug, but there is instead a complicated pricing structure that exists in the healthcare sector which controls production costs.

She added that the establishment of the board “will send a message to companies looking to do R&D not to invest in the state.”

“It is part of NJBIA’s vision, as well as Governor Murphy’s, that New Jersey reclaims its role as the innovation state,” Buteas said. “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.”

To see Buteas’ full written testimony, click here.