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The 191st General Court of the Commonwealth of Massachusetts

AN ACT EXTENDING THE AUTHORIZATION FOR THE USE OF CERTAIN DISCOUNT VOUCHERS FOR PRESCRIPTION DRUGS.

Whereas, The deferred operation of this act would tend to defeat its purpose, which is to authorize forthwith the continued use of certain discount vouchers for prescription drugs, therefore it is hereby declared to be an emergency law, necessary for the immediate preservation of the public convenience.

Be it enacted by the Senate and House of Representatives in General Court assembled, and by the authority of the same, as follows:

SECTION 1.  Section 226 of chapter 139 of the acts of 2012, as most recently amended by section 129 of chapter 133 of the acts of 2016, is hereby further amended by striking out the words “July 1, 2019” and inserting in place thereof the following words:- January 1, 2020.

SECTION 2.  Notwithstanding any general or special law to the contrary, not later than June 1, 2019, the health policy commission shall conduct an analysis and issue a report evaluating the effect of discounts, rebates, product vouchers and other reductions for biological products and prescription drugs, as authorized under section 3 of chapter 175H, on pharmaceutical spending and health care costs in Massachusetts.  The study shall include, but not be limited to, (i) the total number coupons and discounts redeemed in the commonwealth; (ii) the total value of coupons and discounts redeemed in the commonwealth; (iii) an analysis of the types of biological products and prescription drugs for which coupons and discounts were most frequently redeemed; (iv) a comparison of any change in utilization of generic versus brand name prescription drugs; (v) a comparison of any change in utilization among therapeutically-equivalent brand name drugs; (vi) the effect on patient adherence to prescribed drugs; (vii) patient access to innovative therapies; (viii) an analysis of the availability of the coupons or discounts upon renewals; (ix) an analysis of the cost impact to consumers upon expiration of the coupon or discount; (x) an analysis of the impact on commercial health insurance premiums, attributed to both employers and individuals; (xi) an analysis of the impact on any health care cost containment goals adopted by the commonwealth; and (xii) an analysis of the impact on prescription drug costs and premiums for health plans offered by the group insurance commission. The commission may require manufacturers of biological products and prescription drugs to report on the number and types of coupons that such manufacturers have issued and which have been redeemed in the commonwealth. The report shall be made available electronically on the commission’s website, and shall be filed with the secretary of administration and finance, the secretary of health and human services, the clerks of the house of representatives and the senate, the house and senate committees on ways and means and the joint committee on health care financing.

SECTION 3.  This act shall take effect as of July 1, 2018.

Approved, January 2, 2019.