“House and Senate talks on legislation tackling pharmaceutical costs broke down last session, and a Senate leader has rolled onto the 2021 negotiating table a revised plan under which drug manufacturers would be forced to pay into a new state fund to assist Massachusetts residents with the costs of prescription drugs for several chronic health conditions.

After her prescription drug price transparency bill cleared the Senate but died without a vote in the House last session, Sen. Cindy Friedman refiled it with a new section that would impose up to $200 million in assessments on the industry as part of an effort to subsidize drug costs that patients say they can’t afford.

Her bill (S 771) and another proposal from Rep. Christine Barber (H 729), both of which drew opposition from industry leaders, combine the proposed mandatory payments with a range of additional regulations aimed at reining in drug price increases that Friedman said often occur with little explanation.”

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