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Post date: January 20 2006

Statement By Attorney General Eliot Spitzer Regarding The

This web site, intended to help consumers comparison shop for affordable prescription medications, is needed now more than ever. A recent study shows that over the last 10 years, drug prices have been increasing at eight percent annually, more than triple the average annual rate of inflation. This sharp upward price spiral strains the pocketbooks of working families across New York and forces many uninsured and under-insured New Yorkers to make a painful choice between putting food on the table and buying needed medications.

My office has learned firsthand the importance and value of drug pricing transparency. In 2004, we launched a pilot program that tracked drug prices at hundreds of pharmacies across New York. The project consistently found wide price differences for the same drug at pharmacies in the same town or county. For example, a search within Albany County for prices for Lamisil 250mg, a popular anti-fungal medication, shows a price variance of $110 among the surveyed pharmacies in the county. Our pilot web site, now administered in conjunction with AARP, has received 3.5 million hits since its inception.

Based on this compelling evidence, I strongly supported legislation to create a comprehensive web site of the state's pharmacies that would be administered by the state. It is extremely disappointing that this initiative may now be abandoned. I urge the administration to reconsider its plan.

For those without Internet access, please call 1-800-771-7755 (option 3) and an operator can help.