NEW HARTFOR —Senator Kirsten Gillibrand, D-NY, came to the St. Luke’s Campus of the Mohawk Valley Health System Friday afternoon to push for a package of four bills that would cut the price of some prescription drugs.

The bills would undercut the "fraud and manipulation in the market," she promised.

To illustrate the need for the legislation, Gillibrand told a story she heard while traveling through the state. A senior couple was living on a fixed income with $60,000 in savings, she said. The husband was diagnosed with an illness that required a $5,000-a-month drug for treatment. Taking the drug for one year would have extended his life, but eaten up the couple’s savings.

"So he chose not to take that medication," Gillibrand said. "He died nine months later."

Gillibrand presented an overview of the four Democratic bills she’s supporting:

• "The first one is very simple," she said. "It makes price gouging illegal." As drug companies raise the price of a drug, they would lose more and more of their profits, she explained.

• Another bill would allow Medicare to buy prescription drugs in bulk, a price-saving measure that Medicaid and the VA already use.

• The third bill would allow Americans to fill prescriptions in Canada, where drugs are cheaper.

• The fourth would put a monthly cap on how much health plan members could spend on copayments.

"These are just four simple ideas that can make a huge difference," Gillibrand said.