News from the Office of State Representative Aaron Michlewitz, Third Suffolk District:

House of Representatives Passes Bill Allowing Drug Discounts
Promises Cost Savings to Consumers through Prescription Drug Rebates

(BOSTON) – State Representative Aaron Michlewitz joined his colleagues in the Massachusetts House of Representatives on Wednesday in passing legislation that would allow consumers to take advantage of prescription drug discounts in an effort to lower medical costs.

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“This legislation will help consumers save money on medical costs when folks across the Commonwealth are struggling to make ends meet,” House Speaker Robert A. DeLeo said. “It’s important that we give patients and their physicians every option available while determining their health care prescription regiments.”

“This bill will reduce some of the cost barriers that prevent patients from taking their medications as prescribed,” said State Representative Peter Koutoujian.  “The most expensive pills are the ones not taken -– studies have shown it can lead to increased health care dollars being spent in the long run”.

“The costs of prescription drugs are increasing becoming more and more unaffordable for consumers.” said Representative Michlewitz. “With this bill Massachusetts joins the 49 other states that have discount programs, offering much needed relief for people on medication, and attempting ease the burden of growing health care costs.”

This bill would allow consumers cost savings while reducing some of the barriers that prevent patients from taking their medications as prescribed. These savings can reduce co-payments by $10 to $20 or more every month.

These discounts do not allow consumers to choose a medicine but would give them the option to save money once their treatment has been prescribed by their doctor and approved by their insurer. Obtaining prescription medicine still requires coordination with a medical professional, and a provision included in the bill allows insurance companies to opt out if they choose to do so.

Massachusetts’ has a generic substitution law in place intended to curb the use of brand name drugs through the use of generic-first formularies. However, when generic drugs are not available or a physician determines a name brand drug is necessary for treatment, this legislation would allow patients to save money on needed drugs.

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Contact: Blake Webber, 617-722-2488

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