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Governors of CT, MA talk about joint effort to lower prescription drug costs

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    HARTFORD, Connecticut (WFSB) — The governors of Connecticut and Massachusetts are aiming to lower the cost of prescription drugs in their states.

Govs. Ned Lamont and Charlie Baker held a virtual news conference at 10:15 a.m. on Tuesday.

They said spoke about a joint effort to bring those prices under control.

Basically, companies could only adjust prices for inflation, or they’ll face significant fines.

The two governors also said that by working together, they hope to show other states how they can do it. They also want to show that addressing prescription drug prices can be a bipartisan effort.

Lamont’s proposal mirrors what Baker is trying to do in Massachusetts, which is limit pharmaceutical price increases year over year by the current inflation rate plus another 2 percent.

Lamont said many of the proposals coming out of Congress focus on giving subsidies to help people pay for prescription drugs, but they don’t do anything to bring down the actual price. This proposal, on the other hand, would do just that.

“What we’ve got to do now, and where I think Massachusetts has taken the lead for some, is what we can do not just to make healthcare more affordable but make sure you can afford to use it,” Lamont said.

The news conference also featured some people who spoke about their experiences. One man from Groton said he lives with cystic fibrosis and he wouldn’t be able to afford his medication if not for insurance through work. His condition makes it hard to work full-time, and he’s constantly worried about what he would do if he had to leave his job.

“I live in fear of the day I have to face the $32,000 fee it cost me to stay alive for a single month,” said Jay Gironimi, Groton. “I do not have that money.”

Lamont’s proposed budget also includes a tax on insurers, so the state could offer more subsidies to people who get their insurance through Access Health Connecticut.

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