Press Release
From the Office of State Senator Rodney Ellis

For Immediate Release
May 23, 2005
Contact: Jeremy Warren, (512) 463-0113

Senate Adopts Ellis Plan to Help Texans Reduce Prescription Drug Costs

Amendment to HB 2145 would make it easier for Texans to purchase less expensive prescription drugs

(Austin)// The Texas Senate today approved an amendment by Senator Rodney Ellis (D-Houston), which will make it easier for Texans to find and purchase less expensive prescription drugs.

Senator Ellis attached an amendment to HB 2145 to require the State Board of Pharmacy to put a link on their website to free and reduced drug programs offered by the various pharmaceutical companies. The amendment is identical to the Ellis' revised SB 518.

"The rising cost of prescription drugs is a major fiscal crisis that could lead to a major health crisis in Texas," Ellis said. "Texans that can't keep up with skyrocketing prices are either going without much-needed medications or taking the more risky route buying who- knows-what from who-knows-where over the Internet. This amendment will help Texans find better afford expensive prescription drugs while maintaining the safety standards we demand."

Early this session, Senator Ellis filed SB 518, which would have established a program to allow the Texas State Board of Pharmacy to license Canadian pharmacies to sell and ship prescription drugs directly to Texans. Participating Canadian pharmacies would be required to meet the same safety standard as any other pharmacy operating in Texas. On Sunday, the Texas House approved an amendment by Representative Scott Hochberg (D-Houston) virtually identical to SB 518. The would establish a program that allows the Texas State Board of Pharmacy to license Canadian pharmacies to sell and ship prescription drugs directly to Texans. Participating Canadian pharmacies would be required to meet the same safety standard as any other pharmacy operating in Texas.

"I want to go further," said Senator Ellis. "I am very hopeful that the Senate will agree to changes made to the Pharmacy Sunset bill to allow Texans access to safe and more affordable Canadian drugs. The cost of vitally needed prescription drugs is reaching crisis levels, so we must do all that we can at the state level to provide relief."

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