|BOSTON — The following statement was issued by Lucy Westerfield, deputy executive director of Patients For Affordable Drugs Now, following the Massachusetts state Senate passage of S 2651, An Act relative to pharmaceutical access, costs, and transparency, to lower drug prices:|
“We applaud the Massachusetts state Senate for passing S 2651 to rein in rising prescription drug costs for Massachusetts patients. Every day, patients are forced to choose between medications they need and paying for groceries. They need relief. This bill will empower the state to review unreasonable drug prices and develop programs to make expensive drugs more affordable for Bay Staters, especially those disproportionately impacted by high drug prices. It’s time for the full legislature to stand up for patients and send S 2651 to Governor Baker’s desk — patients cannot wait any longer.”
- S 2651, An Act relative to pharmaceutical access, costs, and transparency, would protect Bay Staters from high drug prices by:
- Authorizing the state’s Health Policy Commission to conduct affordability reviews and work with pharmaceutical manufacturers to create a process to increase patient access to necessary medications if prices are deemed excessive.
- Increasing oversight over pharmacy benefit managers through licensure and regulation.
- Providing cost assistance programs to improve affordability for medications used to treat chronic conditions that disproportionately impact people of color or are risk factors for increased COVID-19 complications.
- Increasing drug price transparency.
- In 2021, patient Karolina Chorvath testified in support of a previous version of the legislation.
- S 2651 builds on P4ADNow’s previous work in Massachusetts to pass legislation permitting the Medicaid program to negotiate supplemental rebates to lower drug spending for patients on Medicaid.