Public health advocates rally to lower prescription drug costs

Boston Statehouse

BOSTON (WWLP) – This session, seniors, healthcare workers and legislators are pushing drug companies to lower their prices.

They’re saying it needs to happen now before anyone else dies because they can’t pay for their medication.

During a rally outside the statehouse Wednesday, members of the Massachusetts Prescription Drug Coalition shared stories about people who struggle to pay for their medicine. They’re often forced to make difficult choices.

“Sometimes they have to choose between affording medication and paying for other basic life necessities such as groceries and paying bills, and sometimes it means that people delay or forego taking their medication all together which can lead to more costly hospitalizations and treatments down the road,” Alyssa Vangeli from Healthcare for All said.

The group’s been working with legislators on a bill to hold pharmaceutical companies accountable if they overcharge for essential medications.

“All the other participants in the healthcare system to be more transparent about their costs and to take steps to costs and make healthcare affordable for everyone, we have not asked drug manufacturers and pharmacy benefit managers to do the same thing, that’s really what we’re asking for in this legislation,” Senator Lewis said.

Massachusetts Attorney General Maura Healey has filed a lawsuit against drug manufacturers for allegedly price-fixing on generic drugs.

The AG’s lawsuit alleges companies like Pfizer and Teva Pharmaceuticals “conspired” to raise drug prices, instead of competing against each other to lower rates.

Right now, hundreds of residents across the Commonwealth struggle to access life-saving drugs.

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