Blood Bill Missing From Agenda [AUDIO]
Supporters of a health-related bill in the New Jersey Legislature are upset with its absence from recent committee hearings. The measure would allegedly save lives and taxpayer dollars at the same time.
The legislation, A2180, would establish the "Bleeding Disorders Treatment Fund," a stable source of funding for hemophilia treatment centers across New Jersey. Instead of the state picking up the tab within the budget each year, funding would come through a rebate system, paid by drug manufacturers and home care companies that sell related medicines.
"It would be a relief to taxpayers," said Elena Bostick, Executive Director of the Hemophilia Association of New Jersey (HANJ). "And of the major manufacturers that provide 90 percent of the market share in New Jersey, none have come forward in opposition to this bill."
The measure was passed by the full Senate in June, but was recently pulled from the agenda of the Assembly Appropriations Committee.
"We're devastated," Bostick said, noting the bill has been in the works for more than five years.
A spokesman for Assemblyman Herb Conaway (D-Burlington), the bill's sponsor, told Townsquare Media:
"Assemblyman Conaway held off on the bill amid concerns it did not have the support of the governor's office."
Hemophilia is an incurable disease that affects up to 1,000 New Jersey residents, mostly males, according to HANJ. The cost of treatment for an adult male hemophiliac is between $250,000 and $300,000 per year.