Senate leaders to offer antidote for high drug costs

Massachusetts Senate leaders on Thursday will propose new legislation they say targets the high cost of prescription drugs, giving state officials the power to study and propose what they consider fair values for expensive medicines.

The bill — the Senate’s first major foray into a broader debate on Beacon Hill over health care — also would cap out-of-pocket costs for insulin, the lifesaving drug used by many patients with diabetes. Patients who now may be paying thousands of dollars annually for insulin would pay no more than $25 per month for the drug under the Senate plan, said Senator Cindy F. Friedman, cochairwoman of the Legislature’s Committee on Health Care Financing

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