Earlier this week Massachusetts Governor Deval Patrick signed the 2013 budget. Within that budget are two provisions that will ultimately benefit healthcare consumers within the Commonwealth.
The first provision was a partial repeal of the Massachusetts gift ban law enacted two years ago. In the words of Governor Patrick, “This narrow change will afford healthcare providers some flexibility to be educated on new clinically relevant products and allow them to stay informed on advancements in pharmaceuticals and medical devices that benefit patients and lower our healthcare costs.”
The second provision is the one that will likely deliver a more noticeable impact and benefit to Massachusetts healthcare consumers. This provision allows Massachusetts residents to take advantage of co-payment assistance plans offered by the industry (also known as coupons) to help defray the sometimes high-cost of medicines. Until now, Massachusetts was the only state in the nation to not allow such assistance programs.
Our friends at MassBio have been leading the effort on behalf of the biotechnology industry to advocate for this change for several years. You can read MassBio’s news release on the issue here.
As representatives of an industry committed to discovering new therapies and cures, we at BIO consider it a primary goal to ensure all patients have access to appropriate therapies. We commend and thank Governor Patrick and the legislative leaders in Massachusetts for their continued commitment to improving access to health care.