Supporters Applaud Lawmaker’s Extension of Medication Discounts

Massachusetts State House.

HYANNIS – An extension of a law in the Fiscal Year 2021 budget passed by the State House of Representatives and Senate that would help reduce medication costs for residents has been praised by patient advocacy groups.

The legislation enacted in 2012 allows residents to redeem prescription drug discount coupons at pharmacies to reduce copay costs.

The law was set to expire in 2021, but the currently proposed budget would extend it to 2023.

“We are grateful to lawmakers for putting patients’ interests first. Without the ability to use these prescription discounts many patients would simply go without their medications, their disease would worsen, and they could well end up back at their doctor’s office or the emergency room,” said Richard Pezzillo, Executive Director of the New England Hemophilia Association in a statement.

The New England Hemophilia Association is leading the Patients for Prescription Access Coalition (PFPA).

“Insurers are increasingly charging patients higher out-of-pocket costs, and these discount programs provide financial relief, which is ever more important as the COVID-19 pandemic has caused significantly more financial hardship for so many. We sincerely hope the Governor will keep the language extending the law in the budget and sign it.”

According to PFPA, many patients will skip doses of medication or stop taking medications altogether if out-of-pocket costs rise, resulting in higher costs related to hospitalizations, ER visits, and long-term health issues.

The law and budget are now awaiting Governor Charlie Baker’s signature.

About Grady Culhane

Grady Culhane is a Cape Cod native currently living in Eastham. He studied media communications at Cape Cod Community College and joined the CapeCod.com News Center in 2019.



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