Governor Baker delivered his State of the Commonwealth address on Tuesday, specifically outlining actions to address Massachusetts’s transportation crisis with a proposed $135 million in additional MBTA funding for Fiscal Year 2021.
On Wednesday, the Governor released his FY2021 Budget Recommendations. He did not include any outside sections directly relevant to the life sciences industry. This is the first step in a 6-month budgetary process, with the goal of having a final budget signed by the Governor by July 1, 2021. The House and Senate will now have an opportunity to drat their own version of the budget in the coming months, as the Governor’s moves to the House Committee on Ways and Means.
On Tuesday, the Joint Committee on Health Care Financing will hear testimony on the Governor’s health care bill, House Bill 4134, an act to improve health care by investing in VALUE. As drafted, this bill would subject manufacturers of certain high cost (greater than $50,000/per person/per year), recently approved drugs to the Massachusetts Health Policy Commission (HPC) accountability process; impose penalties on manufacturers that increase the price of a drug by greater than the Consumer Price Index (CPI) +2% in a given year; increase state oversight and authority over pharmacy benefit managers (PBMs) through DOI certification and require reporting to CHIA; require representatives from pharmaceutical industry to participate in cost trend hearings; and restrict PBMs from including gag clauses in contracts to ensure the consumer pays the lowest cost for a prescription.