Legislative Update: Week of September 16, 2019

Sep 16, 2019


A draft version of House Speaker Nancy Pelosi’s proposal to lower drug costs leaked last week. Highlights of the draft proposal include a provision allowing the federal government to negotiate the price of 250 medicines in Medicare and then force drug makers to offer those same negotiated prices in the commercial market. The proposed plan also includes a more comprehensive version of President Trump’s International Price Index that ties the price of a drug to what other countries pay. If companies refuse to offer the drug at that price, they would face a tax of 75% of the drug’s annual gross sales. Pelosi’s final plan is expected to be unveiled this week.

The Massachusetts HPC released the preliminary results of their study on prescription drug coupons (slides 57-67), and announced that they will be releasing an analysis of copay assistance’s impact on patient adherence and prescription drug spending at their Market Oversight & Transparency meeting on October 2. CHIA also announced last week that they will be holding the results of their annual report – originally scheduled to be released during the September 11 HPC meeting – until October 2.

Additionally, at MassBio’s Digital Health Impact event on Monday, Governor Baker announced the release of the Massachusetts Digital Health Council Report and informed attendees that the HLTH conference will be leaving Las Vegas for Boston in 2021.


Senate Bill 1230, to protect children, families, and firefighters from harmful flame retardants, was recommended ought to pass with an amendment substituting a new draft (S.2338) and placed in the Orders of the Day for Thursday, 9/19, with the amendment pending.

On Thursday, the Kendall Square Association Transportation Learning Community hosts a discussion on the state’s transportation funding “crisis” and what can be done to address it. This meeting follows two MBTA meetings related to the Green Line transformation project and an extension of the south coast commuter rail line on Tuesday.

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