STAND. COM. REP. NO.3559
RE: S.R. No. 110
Honorable Robert Bunda
President of the Senate
Twenty-First State Legislature
Regular Session of 2002
State of Hawaii
Your Committee on Ways and Means, to which was referred S.R. No. 110 entitled:
"SENATE RESOLUTION ESTABLISHING AN INTERIM WORKING GROUP TO DISSEMINATE INFORMATION REGARDING PRESCRIPTION DRUG CARD DISCOUNT PROGRAMS OFFERED BY PHARMACEUTICAL COMPANIES,"
begs leave to report as follows:
The purpose of this measure is to help eligible senior citizens and disabled persons have greater access to affordable prescription drugs by increasing awareness of existing drug discount programs.
Specifically, this bill establishes an interim working group to disseminate information to Hawaii residents concerning prescription drug discount card programs offered by pharmaceutical manufacturers to eligible individuals. The working group shall consist of:
(1) The Chair of the Senate Committee on Health and Human Services;
(2) The Directors of Health and Human Services, or their respective designated representatives;
(3) A representative from each County Office on Aging;
(4) A representative from pharmaceutical companies with drug discount card programs available for eligible Hawaii Medicare beneficiaries;
(5) A public member who represents senior citizens; and
(6) A public member who represents disabled individuals.
Additionally, the bill requires the Senate Committee on Health and Human Services to submit a report of its activities to the Senate prior to the convening of the Regular Session of 2003.
Your Committee finds that the cost of prescription drugs has risen steadily in recent years. Individuals who lack prescription drug benefits are most vulnerable to the increases in the cost of prescription drugs, often paying two or three times more for the same drug than individuals with drug coverage. Although seniors and the disabled consume a disproportionate share of all prescription drugs, it is estimated that one-third of the Medicare population lacks prescription drug benefits.
Your Committee further finds that an interim working group charged with disseminating information on discount card programs offered by drug manufacturers would increase awareness of existing opportunities, leading to increased access to lower cost prescription drugs.
As affirmed by the record of votes of the members of your Committee on Ways and Means that is attached to this report, your Committee concurs with the intent and purpose of S.R. No. 110 and recommends its adoption.
Respectfully submitted on behalf of the members of the Committee on Ways and Means,
BRIAN T. TANIGUCHI, Chair