New Hampshire Senate Democrats Vow to Continue to Fight for Prescription Drug Coverage for Elderly and Disabled Citizens

For Immediate Release

Contact: Molly Cowan

P: 603 271-3077

F: 603 271-3027

E: molly.cowan@leg.state.nh.us

Wednesday, March 08, 2006

CONCORD, NH – Roughly 4,500 elderly and disabled New Hampshire residents face an enormous increase in costs of prescription drugs that they have previously been receiving for free or nearly free from drug manufacturers.

Responding to news reports that many drug manufacturers have stopped providing free medications to people eligible for Medicare Part D, whether or not they actually sign up, New Hampshire Senate Democrats reacted pledging to continue their fight for prescription coverage for New Hampshire citizens eligible for Medicare. The 4,500 New Hampshire residents earn too much for eligibility through subsidized Medicare, however their incomes were low enough to qualify for free or cheap drugs directly from manufacturers.

“Improving access to affordable healthcare and prescription access for New Hampshire individuals, families and children continues to be a top priority for the New Hampshire Senate Democratic Caucus,” noted Senate Democratic Leader Sylvia Larsen, District 15. “These new Medicare Part D changes are causing huge problems for our most vulnerable citizens who rely on these prescription programs to survive. We need to continue to work on state programs that will fill the crevasse caused by recent Federal changes to prescription plans.”

Unlike other New England states, New Hampshire does not have a state-run program to help low income people buy prescription drugs.

“Ultimately, the new Federal Medicare program will force New Hampshire citizens to choose between prescriptions drugs, and other necessities, such as food, shelter or clothing,” concluded Sen. Lou D’Allesandro, Democratic Deputy Leader. “New Hampshire Senate Democrats are committed to ensuring our elderly and disabled citizens are never forced to make those choices.”

Molly Cowan

 Senate Democratic Policy Director

p 603 271-3077 f 603 271-3027

molly.cowan@leg.state.nh.us