SANTA FE – A bill authorizing the state to pursue the importation of lower-cost wholesale prescription drugs from Canada received final legislative approval Sunday when it passed the House of Representatives by unanimous vote. Gov. Michelle Lujan Grisham issued the following statement:
“This measure received unanimous support through every step of the legislative process because getting New Mexicans the medicine they need at a cost they can afford is a bipartisan, common-sense issue. I applaud the Legislature for making sure New Mexico is at the front of the line for this program, and I promise to sign Senate Bill 1 quickly so we can begin the process of significantly reducing drug costs.”
Senate Bill 1, sponsored by Sen. Mary Kay Papen and Rep. Debbie Armstrong, authorizes the New Mexico Department of Health to develop a plan making New Mexico one of the early states to apply for federal approval to import wholesale drugs from Canada.
Vermont, Maine, Colorado and Florida have already passed similar legislation, and other states are considering it.
Under this new pathway, the federal government will approve only plans that guarantee the safety of the imported drugs for consumers and ensure that significant cost savings will be passed on to consumers.
Senate Bill 1 is part of a suite of bills the governor is backing to reduce the cost of health care and improve access to high-quality care, including a measure to cap the cost of insulin co-pays at $25 per prescription per 30-day period and another giving the New Mexico Health Insurance Exchange the authority it needs to increase affordability and access to health coverage through the exchange.