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House passes legislation helping to lower costs of prescriptions

SPRINGFIELD -- State Rep. Angelo J. Puppolo, Jr. announced that the Massachusetts House of Representatives passed legislation that would allow consumers to take advantage of prescription drug discounts in an effort to lower medical costs. "At a time when people are struggling to make ends meet, this legislation will give consumers another way to save money on medical costs," Puppolo stated. "It's important that we give patients and their physicians every possible option while determining their health care prescription regiments. "In addition, this bill will reduce some of the cost barriers that prevent patients from taking their medications as prescribed, a practice that can lead to increased health care dollars being spent in the long run," he continued. Reducing financial barriers that prevent patients from taking their prescribed medication will provide cost savings that can reduce co-payments by $10 to $20 or more every month. These discounts do not allow consumers to choose a medicine but would give them the option to save money once treatment has been prescribed by their doctor and approved by their insurer. Obtaining prescription medicine still requires coordination with a medical professional, and a provision included in the bill allows insurance companies to opt out if they choose to do so. Massachusetts' has a generic substitution law in place intended to curb the use of brand name drugs through the use of generic-first formularies. However, when generic drugs are not available or a physician determines a name brand drug is necessary for treatment, this legislation would allow patients to save money on needed drugs.

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