Singleton Bill To Improve Transparency Of Drug Utilization Review Board Passes Committee

Trenton – To prevent pharmaceutical manufacturers from influencing the drug review process, today the Senate Health, Human Services and Senior Citizens Committee passed legislation sponsored by Senator Troy Singleton that would require public members of the New Jersey Drug Utilization Review Board to disclose benefits and financial ties with pharmaceutical companies.

“The Drug Utilization Review Board evaluates different drugs and therapies for people under the Medicaid and New Jersey FamilyCare programs to decide what can be prescribed to patients. Equally as important, they are charged with determining what the best options are for patients. However, that is not always the case because pharmaceutical companies may try to influence board members to prioritize their drugs,” said Senator Singleton (D-Burlington). “With this legislation, I want to bring transparency to the review process, by requiring members of the review board to disclose any ties they have to pharmaceutical companies. Their role on this board is for the betterment of lower-income residents and not personal gain.”

The bill, S-2035, would require public members of the New Jersey Drug Review Board to disclose any financial interest or benefit with a pharmaceutical manufacturer within the previous three years, and then update their disclosure forms on a quarterly basis. Any member who fails to meet these requirements would be removed from the board or would be considered ineligible to serve if not currently a member.

The Drug Utilization Board reviews and selects pharmaceutical drugs prescribed under the Medicaid and New Jersey FamilyCare programs without additional authorization. They conduct ongoing reviews to ensure that patients have access to effective, affordable forms of treatment. Drugs chosen by the board are more likely to be prescribed to beneficiaries, giving the maker of particular drugs a competitive edge.

The bill was released from committee by a vote of 8-0.

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