BOSTON – (1/23/17) State Representative William J. Driscoll, Jr.(D, Milton) recently filed HD.3197, “An Act Regarding Massachusetts Drug Price Relief.” This legislation prevents state administrative agencies and other state agencies from entering into any agreement with the manufacturer of any drug for the purchase of a prescribed drug “unless the net cost of the drug is the same as or less than the lowest price paid for the same drug by the United States Department of Veterans Affairs.”
“It is my believe that preventing any further inflations for necessary medications from drug companies is one a key issue facing all residents of the Commonwealth as the cost of health insurance rises” said Rep. Driscoll. “It is essential that we are able to provide life-saving drugs at prices affordable to everyone in Massachusetts.”
According to a 2015 MHPC Cost Trend report which reviewed stats from 2014, the Commonwealth saw a 13% growth in drug spending. Although pharmaceutical companies use their profits for research and development opportunities, reports have indicated consumers often bear a significant burden shouldering these costs at unwarranted levels. The consumer advocacy organization, Consumers Union, have estimated that many of the nearly 50 percent of Americans who need prescription drugs often have trouble affording them.
“As the cost of healthcare rises and the population of our Commonwealth grows older, I believe one mechanism to contain high costs is to statutorily require Massachusetts agencies to pay the same prices for prescription drugs as the amounts paid by the United States Department of Veteran Affairs,” said Rep. Driscoll. “Many disease-curing drugs are currently priced beyond the reach of many Massachusetts residents and this bill will allow better access for vital medical resources to those in need.”