The Massachusetts State Senate and House of Representatives announced the six-member Conference Committee that will be responsible for drafting the compromise version of the Final FY2020 Budget Recommendations. Ways and Means Committee Chairs, Representative Michlewitz and Senator Rodrigues, will lead the discussions along with their House colleagues Representatives Garlick and Smola and Senate colleagues Senators Friedman and deMacedo. In other state news, MA Governor Baker, Vice Chair of the National Governors Association’s Health and Human Services Committee, with Oregon Governor, Kate Brown, submitted a letter to Congress advocating for a variety of changes to federal Medicaid law to give states more flexibility on lowering health care costs and prescription drug prices. Included in the letter was a proposal that would allow states to exclude select fast-tracked and breakthrough drugs from their Medicaid formularies.
Recently, Senators Lamar Alexander (TN) and Patty Murray (WA) released a new legislative package aimed at lowering the cost of prescription drugs. The plan outlines aggressive proposals targeted at PBMs that would ban spread pricing, require PBMs to report information on list price and rebates to clients, and pass on 100% of the rebates or discounts they negotiate to clients.
Conference committee negotiations for the FY2020 budget formally begin on Wednesday. Also, on Wednesday, the Health Policy Commission’s Market Oversight and Transparency Committee will present new research on the role of PBMs and their impact on prescription drug spending in Massachusetts.