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Prieto Questions Whether Christie Administration’s New Rx Program for Seniors & Disabled is Burdensome

(TRENTON) — At an Assembly Budget Committee public hearing in Camden on Tuesday, Assembly Budget Chairman Vincent Prieto (D-Bergen/Hudson) joined with healthcare advocates in questioning the wisdom of the Christie administration to shift roughly 40,000 aged, blind and disabled residents to a managed care prescription drug program that appears to be more burdensome while cost savings have yet to materialize:

“Some of the testimony we heard today regarding prescription drug services for senior, blind and disabled residents was particularly concerning.

“In a move two years ago, the Christie administration attempted to achieve cost savings by shifting tens of thousands of our most vulnerable patients to a managed care prescription drug system that has left many scrambling to find pharmacies in their neighborhood or grappling with denial of coverage for much-needed medicines.

“For the elderly and individuals with limited physical means, this is particularly troublesome. As we move forward in this budget process, I am particularly interested to find out if this program has produced any of the cost savings the administration has projected or has it merely served as a major burden for those who can least afford it?”