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Sununu signs new laws aimed at drug prices, meth labs

June 07. 2018 2:24PM
Gov. Chris Sununu is surrounded by lawmakers and health care professionals as he signs into law two bills regulating pharmaceuticals. Courtesy 

LACONIA -- Gov. Chris Sununu hosted a ceremonial signing of two health-care related bills at Lakes Region General Hospital in Laconia on Thursday.

House Bill 1791 allows pharmacists to disclose information on lower-cost drugs under the managed care law, while Senate Bill 376 regulates the sale and possession of products containing ephedrine and pseudoephedrine, key ingredients of methamphetamine.

“HB 1791, will help substantively lower the cost of prescription drugs, while SB 376, seeks to proactively address the growing threat of methamphetamines in New Hampshire,” said Sununu.

HB 1791 will allow pharmacists to fill a prescription with a less expensive “biosimilar” drug approved by the FDA. Biosimilars are less costly imitations of drugs known as biologics, which are used to treat a range of diseases including cancer, rheumatoid arthritis, diabetes and anemia.

They are different from generics in that they are not exact copies. By providing more treatment options, biologics also bring down the cost of prescription drugs through increased competition.

SB 376 changes how retailers in New Hampshire record the customer information required under Federal law when purchasing products that contain pseudoephedrine.

“This will be one more tool deployed to deal with the growing problem of illegal methamphetamine labs,” said Sununu.

Retailers will have real-time access to a transaction database to see if a customer has exceeded or is about to exceed the federal purchase limits by purchasing products at multiple stores.

The law also gives New Hampshire’s law enforcement quicker access to records to investigate illegal purchases of these products.

“This online real-time system has no cost to taxpayers because it is paid for by the companies that manufacture cold medicines,” said Sununu. “While it is not the answer to the entire meth problem we face, it is one more tool that will be used as we wage the fight.”

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