SANTA FE, N.M. — Albuquerque patient Kristina Caffrey will share her story of relying on a $350,000-a-year prescription medication with the state House Health and Human Services committee today. Caffrey will testify in support of House Bill 154, legislation that would establish a prescription drug affordability board designed to protect New Mexico patients like Caffrey from unaffordable prescription drug prices.
Caffrey lives with Gaucher disease and relies on the medication Cerdelga, sold by Sanofi Genzyme for $500 a pill. Caffrey’s two-pills-a-day regime runs an annual price tag that equals the price of a house.
“Genzyme has recouped its investments [on the drug Cerdelga] many times over, but I am still paying the price. They do this because they can — and because no one has ever demanded to know why they’re extorting people like me,” Caffrey, 33, will testify. “The burden of high prescription drug prices is not just monetary. It is also an emotional one. I have made so many decisions out of fear of not being able to obtain or afford medication.”
“This is why New Mexico needs an affordability board, made up of experts who can peel back the curtain of arbitrary pricing that has nothing to do with the costs of production, the costs of development, or the value to patients.”
House Bill 154 would:
- Establish a prescription drug affordability board and a prescription drug affordability stakeholder council. These entities would work together to analyze drug pricing data and determine which drugs are excessively priced and cause affordability challenges.
- If a drug is found to create an affordability challenge, the board may establish an upper payment limit to all drug purchasers and payers in New Mexico.
The hearing and Caffrey’s testimony can be viewed live here at 8:30 AM MT today.