BOSTON (WWLP) – The State Senate unveiled what they have dubbed the PACT Act 3.0 last week. This new legislation is tackling high prices of prescription drugs while also making changes to the state’s healthcare system as a whole.
This comprehensive piece of legislation takes a two pronged approach towards helping citizens of the Commonwealth. It first moves to lower drug costs while also growing access at the pharmacy. It also works to improve the states oversight of it’s healthcare system.
The bill looks at chronic conditions like diabetes, asthma and heart conditions and moves to make insurers offer one generic drug, and one name-brand drug that will be subject to a co-pay cap. For diabetes specifically, that drug must be insulin. For each brand-named drug, co-pays can only be $25 at most for a 30-day supply.
Senate President Karen Spilka said in a statement, “Residents can’t wait for prescription drug relief, especially when lives are at stake. This is a bill that will take major steps towards addressing affordability for all our residents, along with increasing access to important life-saving medications.”
The legislation also directs the Health Policy Commission to create a process for “identifying high drug prices that create access barriers,” it also allows the HPC to recommend pricing measures that will work to increase access to medications.
In addition, a measure that affects everyone with a prescription, this bill would take steps so that patients can get their prescriptions from the pharmacy of their choice.
The Senate has passed two previous versions of this bill, but it has never passed in the House. Debate on this bill is scheduled for this week, the last week before formal lawmaking comes to an end for the year.