Monday, July 4, 2022


July 4th: an opportunity to examine the state of U.S. Democracy in places like MT; disturbing bodycam video of a fatal police shooting in Ohio; ripple effects from SCOTUS environmental ruling.


The Biden administration works to ensure abortion access, Liz Cheney says Jan 6th committee could call for criminal charges against Trump, and extreme heat and a worker shortage dampens firework shows.


From flying saucers to bologna: America's summer festivals kick off, rural hospitals warn they do not have the necessities to respond in the post-Roe scramble, advocates work to counter voter suppression, and campaigns encourage midterm voting in Indian Country.

MA Groups: More Transparency Needed Around Prescription Drug Costs


Friday, February 11, 2022   

Prescription-drug costs have skyrocketed in recent years, and a bill before the Massachusetts General Court aims to rein them in.

The proposal would lower co-payments and other out-of-pocket costs for drugs such as insulin and asthma inhalers. It also would create a commission to review certain drug costs to make sure they are not unreasonable or excessive.

Alyssa Vangeli, co-director for policy and government relations at Health Care for All, said many medications treat chronic conditions disproportionately affecting BIPOC and low-income communities.

"This is particularly important from a health-equity perspective," Vangeli explained. "Improving access to affordable medications is one way to help curb racial inequities in access to prescription drugs, particularly for those with chronic conditions."

The bill passed the state Senate yesterday. More than 20% of Massachusetts adults responding to an Altarum survey said they either skipped doses, cut pills in half or did not fill a prescription because of concerns over the cost. Opponents say lowering prices could limit drug research.

More than 80% of respondents said they support measures from requiring drug companies to provide advanced notice of price increases, to setting standard prices for certain drugs, to prohibiting companies from charging more in the U.S. than abroad.

Vangeli added there is no time to waste.

"We know that individuals and families need immediate relief now from rising out-of-pocket costs," Vangeli observed. "The pandemic has also revealed the devastating impact that uncontrolled chronic conditions can have when people are not able to afford and access the medications they need."

Vangeli noted in addition to support from the state Senate, members of the state House have also expressed interest. She hopes the bill will pass by the end of the legislative session, so Commonwealth residents can get the relief they need.

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