By Bob Katzen

The Senate 39-0, approved and sent to the House a bill that supporters say would make major changes and reforms to the state’s pharmaceutical system by “lowering the cost of drugs at the pharmacy counter and improving oversight of the pharmaceutical industry.”

“The Senate has made pharmaceutical cost containment and oversight a priority for a long time, and I’m proud that we’ve had the opportunity to pass this bill in three consecutive sessions, improving it as we learn more and more about the industry,” said Sen. Cindy Friedman (D-Arlington), Senate chair of the Committee on Health Care Financing. “While we are supportive of the work of the pharmaceutical industry, we also know that far too many Massachusetts residents are struggling to access life saving, essential medication due to outrageous and skyrocketing costs. [This legislation] will provide necessary transparency and oversight measures, so that consumers can trust that this system is putting patients and their health before profits.”

“I am pleased the Senate has passed this crucial prescription drug legislation,” said Sen. Mike Rodrigues (D-Westport), Chair of the Senate Committee on Ways and Means. “Healthcare is all about accessibility and affordability, and this reform-minded consumer focused bill will allow increased access to prescription drugs while also considerably driving down the cost of everyday medications.”

“Relief from prescription drug costs can’t wait when lives are at stake,” said Senate President Karen Spilka (D-Ashland). “I look forward to this bill getting signed into law so that residents and seniors who go to the pharmacy counter will finally pay less for the medications they use to stay alive and maintain their quality of life. This reform is in line with the Senate’s commitment to addressing affordability, equity and transparency and maintaining the commonwealth’s competitiveness as a place to live and work.”

(A “Yes” vote is for the bill.)

Sen. Patricia Jehlen Yes

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