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TO AMEND THE CODE OF LAWS OF SOUTH CAROLINA, 1976, BY ADDING ARTICLE 5 TO CHAPTER 6, TITLE 44 SO AS TO CREATE THE INTERSTATE BULK PRESCRIPTION DRUG PROGRAM WITH NEIGHBORING STATES TO PROVIDE PRESCRIPTION DRUGS AT A REDUCED COST TO SENIOR AND DISABLED RESIDENTS WHO DO NOT HAVE PRESCRIPTION DRUG COVERAGE.
Whereas, tens of thousands of senior and disabled South Carolinians have no prescription drug insurance coverage and are unable to keep pace with the skyrocketing cost of prescription drugs which are rising at the rate of twenty percent, or more, annually; and
Whereas, many thousands of other senior and disabled South Carolinians are losing their employer-provided health insurance coverage as soon as they reach sixty-five years of age and become eligible for Medicare coverage; and
Whereas, still many hundreds of South Carolinians are seeing their deductibles double, and their health insurance premiums triple, mainly because of the rapidly increasing cost of prescription drugs; and
Whereas, joining with neighboring states to form a bulk buying program for prescription drugs would provide South Carolina's seniors and disabled residents without prescription coverage a resource for obtaining prescription drugs at a reduced cost. Now, therefore,
Be it enacted by the General Assembly of the State of South Carolina:
SECTION 1. Chapter 6, Title 44 of the 1976 Code is amended by adding:
Section 44-6-610. There is created the Interstate Bulk Prescription Drug Program to be implemented by the Department of Health and Human Services. This program shall provide prescription drugs at a reduced cost to residents age sixty-five or older or disabled who do not have prescription drug coverage. In implementing this program the department shall:
(1) negotiate with pharmaceutical companies to purchase prescription drugs in bulk at reduced costs;
(2) develop interstate agreements with neighboring states to participate in this program; and
(3) promulgate regulations to implement the provisions of this article including, but not limited to, eligibility requirements for program participation."
SECTION 2. This act takes effect upon approval by the Governor.
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