Bill to reduce cost of some medicine passed
The cost of some medications could be reduced after senators passed legislation allowing for further regulation of the drugs industry.
The Bermuda Health Council Amendment Act will create a drug formulary, enabling Government to set maximum prices for some commonly used medications.
Presenting the bill in the Senate on Monday night Curtis Richardson, the junior minister of health, said the cost of medications was the biggest out-of-pocket expense for many.
He said: “Bermuda’s high cost of healthcare, the ageing population and increasing incidents of chronic diseases such as diabetes, all contribute to the burden of healthcare.
“It has become clear for at least the last ten years that our people are concerned about the price that they have to pay for these medicines.”
Senator Richardson said that insurance only covered 80 per cent of the cost of medications – resulting in some people being unable to get the treatments they needed.
He said the formulary will provide a list of drugs to be sold at regulated prices to the public.
“We have to have more regulations to combat these costs,” he said.
Earlier this month, Kim Wilson, the minister of health, said that under the legislation, the Bermuda Health Council would be able to participate in “negotiations with respect to procuring drugs” that would help drive down costs.
She also added that the panel overseeing medication costs will not receive pay for their work.