RX Cost Control Amendment to Senate Health Care Bill

MASSPIRG urges support for RX cost control to amendment to Senate Health Care Bill

November 7, 2017

            RE: in support of Amendment #19, to, S 2202


Dear Senator,

As you deliberate SB 2202, I urge you to support Amendment #19, Transparency to prevent price gouging of pharmaceutical drug prices filed by Senator Montigny, to begin to rein in the out of control prescription drug pricing.

Rising drug costs are significantly outpacing all other medical costs for our health care. In fact, pharmacy costs rose 300% faster than did the second largest expense, outpatient services, for all private health plans in Massachusetts. Runaway drug prices are driving rising health insurance costs and must be curtailed. 

Amendment #19 will drive down health insurance costs by reining in inappropriate prescription drug prices. This amendment will (1) strengthen prescription drug data reporting criteria to CHIA; (2) impose significant fines for failure to report the required information in a timely manner; (3) subject excessive price increases to a prescription drug improvement plan, as outlined by HPC; and (4) authorize the Attorney General to designate excessive prices increases failing to satisfy a prescription drug improvement plan as an “unfair practice” under chapter 93A.

As with other health care expenses, we all have an interest in scrutinizing drug costs and preventing unreasonable profiteering and price gouging.  The prescription drug industry as a whole is one of the most profitable in the country, fueled in part by publicly financed research and development, aggressive marketing tactics by industry, and massive purchasing by state and federal governments for VA, Medicare and Medicaid programs. 

I hope you will support this important amendment to S 2022,  An Act furthering health empowerment and affordability by leveraging transformative health care.



Deirdre Cummings

Legislative Director



294 Washington St, St 500

Boston MA 02108



Deirdre Cummings

Legislative Director, MASSPIRG

Deirdre runs MASSPIRG’s public health, consumer protection and tax and budget programs. Deirdre has led campaigns to improve public records law and require all state spending to be transparent and available on an easy-to-use website, close $400 million in corporate tax loopholes, protect the state’s retail sales laws to reduce overcharges and preserve price disclosures, reduce costs of health insurance and prescription drugs, and more. Deirdre also oversees a Consumer Action Center in Weymouth, Mass., which has mediated 17,000 complaints and returned $4 million to Massachusetts consumers since 1989. Deirdre currently resides in Maynard, Mass., with her family. Over the years she has visited all but one of the state's 351 towns — Gosnold.