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NURS FPX 6008 Assessment 4 Lobbying for Change

NURS FPX 6008 Assessment 4 Lobbying for Change

Dear Senator Elizabeth Warren,

My name is Amy Burgner. I am a Registered Nurse with 22 years of experience, charged with managing patients’ physical needs, treating health conditions, preventing illness, and promoting health through patient education and advocating for them. Nurses are critical to Massachusetts’ healthcare system; including coordinating care and ensuring that patients get the right medication. As such, I confidently believe that the Senate and the overall Congress should prioritize issues concerning medication availability and affordability.

I request your support for Bill HD.1974. This bill aims to remove all provisions prohibiting or penalizing pharmacists for disclosing information regarding the cost of prescription drugs and the availability of alternative drugs to insured individuals (The General Court of the Commonwealth of Massachusetts, 2023). In addition, the bill will prohibit health insurance carriers or pharmacy benefits managers from requiring insured individuals to necessarily make payments at the point of sale at a cost higher than that without an insurance plan. This bill aims to reinforce similar efforts at the federal level, including the Patient Right to Know Drug Prices Act and the Know the Lowest Price Act, and the Inflation Reduction Act of 2022 (Coppock, 2018; Shih et al., 2022). Both the House and the Senate have been consistent that the government needs to provide affordable care. Medication being a critical healthcare component, ensuring its affordability ensures citizens of Massachusetts afford drugs and achieve better health outcomes.        

This bill will increase medication availability, accessibility, and affordability, improved medication adherence and health outcomes, fewer morbidities and mortalities, and increased health-seeking behaviors amongst the Massachusetts population. Axon et al. (2020) emphasize that lower healthcare costs promote increased medication adherence, by about 80%. Considering that Montero et al. (2022) state that about 25% of American adults or their families have struggled with prescription fill, divided pills into halves, or skipped doses in 2021 due to cost concerns, supporting the bill will ensure that Massachusetts population does not continue to undergo the same predicament. 

The bill will also ensure a safe operational budget for Massachusetts’ healthcare organizations due to increased drug accessibility and affordability, which will promote reliable projections of drug expenses and revenues. Furthermore, organizations would achieve safe staffing ratios attributed to short lengths of stays and reduced hospitalization. This means that organizations in the state will be financially stable enough not to enquire for supplementary budgets from the state government to address price hikes and drug shortages. Notably, such an eventuality would affect other state government functions, if significant funding was to be channeled to supplementary budgets.

NURS FPX 6008 Assessment 4 Lobbying for Change

This bill is culturally sensitive, ethical, and equitable, as it advocates for the lowest medication prices for all Massachusetts population irrespective of race, gender, religion, age, or socioeconomic status. This is the right thing for the state leadership to do as it promotes saving the lives of the citizens. Conversely, failing to support this bill would mean that more of the population continues to experience low medication affordability and accessibility, high morbidities and mortalities, and high healthcare organizational cost to address increased health needs such as hospitalization.    

Lastly, this bill will empower providers to educate patients about available options for specific diseases, and thus increase the uptake of cheaper medication choices. Based on professional experience, nurses are effective patient educators; I experienced the success of an awareness program championed by nurses at the height of the Covid-19 pandemic that resulted in mass testing. This experience highlighted how nurses can both save lives and costs. This reliability level ensures that the chances of the proposed bill effectively impacting drug affordability, once enacted, are high. Consequently, more Massachusetts citizens will quickly understand their right to know the cheapest medications for their condition in the market.

I urge you to support this essential legislation to promote medication availability, accessibility, and affordability and help citizens in Massachusetts lead healthier and quality life. Please contact me for any clarification.

Respectfully Yours,

Amy Burgner

Registered Nurse

Orlando Health

Orlando Regional Medical Center

NURS FPX 6008 Assessment 4 Lobbying for Change


Axon, D. R., Vaffis, S., Chinthammit, C., Lott, B. E., Taylor, A. M., Pickering, M., … & Campbell, P. J. (2020). Assessing the association between medication adherence, as defined in quality measures, and disease-state control, health care utilization, and costs in a retrospective database analysis of Medicare supplemental beneficiaries using statin medications. Journal of Managed Care & Specialty Pharmacy26(12), 1529-1537. https://doi.org/10.18553/jmcp.2020.26.12.1529

Coppock, K. (2018). Legislation Signed into Law Prohibiting ‘Gag Clauses’ for Pharmacies. Pharmacy Times. https://ascopubs.org/doi/abs/10.1200/jop.19.00606

Montero, A., Kearney, A., Hamel, L., & Brodie, M. (2022). Americans’ challenges with health care costs. Kaiser Family Foundation, July14. https://www.kff.org/health-costs/issue-brief/americans-challenges-with-health-care-costs/

Shih, Y. C. T., Yabroff, K. R., & Bradley, C. J. (2022). Prescription Drug Provisions in the Inflation Reduction Act: Any Relief of Financial Hardship for Patients With Cancer?. JAMA Oncology. doi:10.1001/jamaoncol.2022.5805

The General Court of the Commonwealth of Massachusetts. (2023). Bill HD.1974 193rd (Current). malegislature.gov. https://malegislature.gov/Bills/193/HD1974

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