Prompted by the skyrocketing price of EpiPens, the Massachusetts State Senate unanimously adopted a budget amendment that would establish a bulk purchasing fund for epinephrine auto-injectors. The fund would allow the state to apply its purchasing power to negotiate down the cost of obtaining the drug.
The amendment, sponsored by Senator Eric Lesser, doesn’t provide actual funding but is envisioned to be funded by contributions from the state, cities, or private donors. Lesser drafted the amendment creating the Municipal Epinephrine Bulk Purchase Trust Fund due to his concern that constituents with severe allergies would not be able to bear the cost of EpiPens which have risen to over $600 from $100 a decade ago.
Said Senator Lesser:
“This is an unconscionable price increase of a life-saving drug that has been on the market for decades. There is no reason for this price increase and it is hurting our citizens. We should be ashamed of ourselves that we would allow these types of price increases to happen without us acting, without us doing something.”
The amendment was passed 38-0.
We at SnackSafely.com advocate for broad legislative changes that would free government entities to pool resources and negotiate prices directly with pharmaceutical companies as many foreign governments currently do.