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Deirdre Cummings
Legislative Director

Author: Deirdre Cummings

Legislative Director

(617) 747-4319

Started on staff: 1986
B.S., University of Massachusetts, Amherst

Deirdre runs MASSPIRG’s public health, consumer protection and tax and budget programs. Deirdre has led campaigns to protect consumers from identity theft in the wake of massive security breaches at Equifax and Marriot, eliminate unfair pricing practices in disability insurance products, improve public records law and require all state spending to be transparent and available on an easy-to-use website, close $400 million in corporate tax loopholes, protect the state’s retail sales laws to reduce overcharges and preserve price disclosures, reduce costs of health insurance and prescription drugs, and more. Deirdre also oversees a Consumer Action Center in Weymouth, Mass., which has mediated 17,000 complaints and returned $4 million to Massachusetts consumers since 1989. Deirdre currently resides in Maynard, Mass., with her family. Over the years she has visited all but one of the state's 351 towns — Gosnold.

MASSPIRG joined Health Care for All, Community Catalyst, Blue Cross Blue Shield of MA, and MA Association of Health Plans in urging the senate to oppose apemdments #422 and #488 which would emiminate the end of RX marketing tactics - coupons and rebates - that lead to higher drug prices and insurance costs. 

Some drug manufactuers offer consumers coupons to pay part or all of the consumer co-pay for brand name expensive drugs. The higher cost of the drug is then born by those covered by the insurer. The Rx drug coupons increase the use of newer and more expensive prescription drugs, resulting in a profound increase in overall health care costs. For this reason rx coupons are prohibited for Medicare and Medicaid patients.

The pharmacuitical industry spends $4 billion a year on coupons to promote an additional $16-$24 billion in additional sales of expensive brand name drugs. 

The legisalture had allowed a temporary test, allowing coupons for a limited time, and requiring further study. The waiver for the coupons is supposed to end July 1, 2019, but the pharmacuitcal industry is pushing to keep their marketing gimmicks and extend the deadline.  At a time when we are focused on improving health care and lowering costs, we must not extend this anti consumer drug marketing program.

See the full letter here 

Deirdre Cummings
Legislative Director

Author: Deirdre Cummings

Legislative Director

(617) 747-4319

Started on staff: 1986
B.S., University of Massachusetts, Amherst

Deirdre runs MASSPIRG’s public health, consumer protection and tax and budget programs. Deirdre has led campaigns to protect consumers from identity theft in the wake of massive security breaches at Equifax and Marriot, eliminate unfair pricing practices in disability insurance products, improve public records law and require all state spending to be transparent and available on an easy-to-use website, close $400 million in corporate tax loopholes, protect the state’s retail sales laws to reduce overcharges and preserve price disclosures, reduce costs of health insurance and prescription drugs, and more. Deirdre also oversees a Consumer Action Center in Weymouth, Mass., which has mediated 17,000 complaints and returned $4 million to Massachusetts consumers since 1989. Deirdre currently resides in Maynard, Mass., with her family. Over the years she has visited all but one of the state's 351 towns — Gosnold.