For Immediate Release

Contact:  Shawn Rychling

August 4, 1998          

           (202) 467-5300


Washington, D.C. – Citizens Against Government Waste (CAGW) Texas State Chairman C.A. Stubbs will testify today before the Texas State Board of Pharmacy in opposition to a state law that will restrict access to generic Narrow Therapeutic Index (NTI) drugs.

“The law, which passed the legislature last year is, in effect, a hidden tax on patients and taxpayers in the state of Texas,” said Stubbs.  “It interferes with the switching from a brand-name drug to its generic equivalent, and since generics are much cheaper, Texans will pay millions of dollars more for their medicines.  The law will also increase the burden on taxpayers who have to foot the bill for drugs in government sponsored programs like Medicaid.”

     Stubbs also warned the Board that brand-name pharmaceutical companies will petition to have their drugs put on the Texas NTI list as the drugs near the end of their patent lives. 

“There is a concerted effort on the part of the big pharmaceutical companies to prevent people from gaining access to the lower-priced, but perfectly safe generic drugs,”  said Stubbs.  “The issue is about protecting market share and profits.  It has nothing to do with patient safety.

“The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) is charged with certifying the safety of all drugs in the marketplace.  Any law on the state level restricting access to generic drugs simply ignores the grueling work taxpayers have already paid for at the federal level.  I urge the board to restrict the number or refuse to put any drugs on the NTI list.”

CAGW is a 600,000-member nonprofit organization dedicated to the elimination of  government waste, fraud, abuse and mismanagement.


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