“Legislative solutions already exist to ensure patient access to prescription drugs – solutions that aren’t arbitrary and punitive. Restricting the use of step therapy, non-medical switching, and extending the state’s copay assistance law are all simple, lasting solutions with broad support across the Legislature. That’s in strong contrast to the Senate’s proposal to allow the state to determine the appropriate price of a drug, and either fine or publicly shame a company that may disagree with the state’s valuations – without subjecting any other parts of the healthcare sector to such penal action.
The spending growth rate in Massachusetts for prescription drugs has declined three years in a row, coming in at 3.6% between 2017 and 2018. That’s in-line with the state’s benchmark growth rate of 3.1%. The Senate has proposed a bill focused only on drug pricing when the state data show that out-of-pocket costs are the real problem, with health insurance premiums and patient cost-sharing growing at 5.6% between 2017 and 2018 inflicting significant, direct financial burden on patients.”
– Robert K. Coughlin, President & CEO of MassBio