The Boston Globe: Reining in the spending on drugs: What Mass. can learn from other states


August 27, 2019

By Priyanka Dayal McCluskey, Globe Staff

Two years ago, New York leaders required drug companies to get serious about negotiating lower prices with the state. Drug makers that didn’t agree to bigger discounts could be called out publicly and required to disclose price information.

New York’s Medicaid program has saved more than $85 million on prescription drugs since the policy was implemented — a savings that Massachusetts is now trying to replicate with its own new drug-pricing rules, approved this summer as part of the state budget.

The measures are part of a flurry of legislation states are adopting to slow runaway drug costs, which are stretching state budgets and patients’ wallets. While debate continues in Washington, without resolution, nearly three dozen states have passed drug-pricing laws in 2019 alone.

The new policies range in strategy and severity, and they have support from both Democrats and Republicans. Among the more aggressive policies are those in New York and Massachusetts, which take direct aim at the costs in Medicaid programs, which serve low-income individuals.

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