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Pharma spends big as Massachusetts lawmakers review drug-pricing bills

April 01, 2019 / Kyle Blankenship
SHARESHARESHARE

State legislators in Massachusetts are preparing to review a slew of bills aimed at state-level drug pricing, and the pharmaceutical industry is opening its checkbook to fight back. The state’s Joint Committee on Health Care Financing on April 11 will examine 21 bills targeting price transparency and affordability for patients. State Sen. Cindy Friedman, the committee chair, told the Boston Herald that lawmakers will take a hard look at measures to open up drugmakers' pricing secrets and lower sticker prices for patients. “Drugs are a huge contributor to health care costs, and it’s becoming, as many other parts of health care, more and more of a crisis in terms of people’s ability to pay for their health care,” Friedman said. But pharmaceutical companies aren’t taking that challenge sitting down. In 2018, drugmakers spent more than $4 million lobbying the Massachusetts statehouse, the Herald reported. One of the biggest players in the lobbying ef...