On Thursday, the United States Energy and Commerce Committee Chairman Frank Pallone, Jr., Ways, and Means Committee Chairman Richard Neal, and Education and Labor Committee Chairman Robert Scott, reintroduced H.R. 3, the Elijah E. Cummings Lower Drug Costs Now Act, for the 117th Congress. As drafted, the bill includes provisions to lower drug prices through drug price negotiations, prescription drug inflation rebates, and drug price transparency provisions.
And in Massachusetts, a new report conducted by 3 Axis Advisors and commissioned by the Massachusetts Independent Pharmacists Association found that spread pricing, used by pharmacy benefit managers (PBMs), “is unnecessarily driving up the cost of drugs by giving more money to the PBMs and less to the pharmacists, who have to cover the costs of dispensing the drug and counseling patients.” The full report can be downloaded, here.
And on Saturday, a new mobile vaccination clinic was set up in East Boston to administer 500 COVID-19 vaccination in an effort to reach Black and Brown communities and non-English speaking populations. The mobile clinic will also travel to Chelsea, Holyoke, and Chicopee over the next few weeks. Appointments are required to receive a vaccine.
Debate on Massachusetts’ House of Representatives’ budget recommendations began Monday and Representatives have been told to plan for budget sessions starting at 10 a.m. on Monday, Tuesday, and Wednesday, and to hold Thursday and Friday open for potential sessions. MassBio submitted a comment letter to House Ways and Means and the Chairs of the Joint Committees on Health Care Financing and Public Health regarding our position on amendments #376 (support), #795 (oppose), and #1128 (oppose).