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Report | MASSPIRG and Community Catalyst | Public Health, Consumer Protection, Health Care

Top Twenty Pay-for-Delay Drugs

Too often, consumers are forced to shoulder a heavy financial burden, or even go without needed medicine, due to the high cost of brand-name drugs. Our research indicates that one significant cause is the practice called “pay for delay,” which inflates the drug prices paid by tens of millions of Americans.

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Blog Post | Budget, Tax

4 REASONS LAWMAKERS ARE SCRUTINIZING HOW COMPANIES TURN SETTLEMENTS FROM WRONGDOING INTO TAX WRITE OFFS | Deirdre Cummings

When a company must pay a penalty for wrongdoing, should the public also shoulder a hidden subsidy for the corporation? Four factors are bringing this issue to a head.

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News Release | MASSPIRG | Consumer Protection

MASSPIRG Calls for Energy Efficiency Program

MASSPIRG’s legislative director, Deirdre Cummings, urged a state legislative committee to adopt a strong energy efficiency program to conserve oil, save money, and protect our health by curbing greenhouse gas emissions.

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News Release | MASSPIRG | Solid Waste

12,000 Bay Staters Tell DEP: Enforce the Waste Bans

In just over one month’s time, the consumer advocacy group MASSPIRG (Massachusetts Public Interest Research Group) has collected over 12,000 signatures calling on Department of Environmental Protection (DEP) Commissioner Kenneth Kimmell to sign a pledge to crack down on violators of Massachusetts’ longstanding waste bans.

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News Release | MASSPIRG | Consumer Protection, Higher Ed

Interest Rates for 158,718 Student Loan Borrowers in Massachusetts Double

Due to Congressional inaction, the interest rates on federally subsidized student loans doubled on July 1 from 3.4 percent to 6.8 percent. 

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News Release | MASSPIRG | Solid Waste

Big Crowd Gathers at State House Calling for House Passage of the Updated Bottle Bill

In the wake of the state Senate’s passage of the Updated Bottle Bill last week, and with Governor Patrick a huge champion, supporters gathered today to call on Speaker Robert DeLeo and the House of Representatives to finally pass the Update after 14 years.

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News Release | MASSPIRG | Budget, Food, Tax

Ag Subsidies Pay for 21 Twinkies per Taxpayer, But Only Half of an Apple Apiece

Federal subsidies for commodity crops are subsidizing junk food additives like high fructose corn syrup, enough to pay for 21 Twinkies per taxpayer every year, according to MASSPIRG’s new report, Apples to Twinkies 2012. “This is ridiculous,”  said MASSPIRG’s Legislative Director, Deirdre Cummings. “First, we are giving taxpayer subsidies to mature, profitable industries while struggling with how to reduce the nation’s record level of debt.  That is bad enough, but in addition, the billions of taxpayer supported subsides are then used to subside junk food—even as our childhood obesity rates are going through the roof. With the Farm Bill about to be reauthorized, it’s time to end this waste.”

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News Release | MASSPIRG | Consumer Protection

Voters Want Strong Oversight of Wall Street and Back New Consumer Cop

Reforms enacted in response to the financial meltdown remain popular with voters, a new opinion poll by Lake Research Partners shows. With just one year of work under its belt, the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau has a strong record of successes for consumers despite facing constant unfounded political attacks.

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News Release | MASSPIRG and the Massachusetts Sierra Club

Groups release report, “The Impact of Updating the Bottle Bill on Jobs and the Economy”

As the Massachusetts Senate takes up the “Jobs Bill” (S.2350), two organizations released a white paper demonstrating that amendment #36, which would update the Bottle Bill, the 5-cent deposit on some beverage containers, would save and/or create 1500 jobs in Massachusetts in the recycling, collection, and manufacturing sectors.

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News Release | MASSPIRG | Health Care

MASSPIRG Urges Governor to Veto Changes To Prescription Drug Gift Ban

Leading consumer, health care and senior organizations urge Governor Patrick to veto the changes made to the Prescription Drug Gift Ban included in the Massachusetts FY13 budget currently pending his approval.   “At a time when government, businesses and consumers are focused on improving health care quality and controlling costs, the very last thing the Legislature and the Governor should be considering is weakening the gift ban law,” concluded Deirdre Cummings, MASSPIRG Legislative Director.

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The Failure Of Cable Deregulation

The Telecommunications Act of 1996 restructured the entire telecommunications industry and left virtually all cable subscribers without protection from unrestricted rate hikes.

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Who's Watching The Watchdogs?

Conflicts of interest and lack of independent funding have doomed both the national and state level accounting oversight systems in the United States. The state accounting boards and the network of overlapping, mostly self-regulatory federal accounting overseers act as classic regulators, serving management instead of serving investors and taxpayers.

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Deflate Your Rate

At the end of the year 2000, U.S. households were accruing interest on $574 billion of revolving credit card debt, or debt carried over to the next month rather than paid off entirely.

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Report | Solid Waste

Where There's Smoking, There's Fire

Across the nation, over 1,000 people are killed and 3,000 injured as a result of cigarette fires each year. These fires cause more than $400 million in property damage. In Massachusetts alone in 2000, 1,280 fires were attributed to cigarettes. Those fires killed 17 people, injured 81 civilians, and wounded 61 firefighters in the line of duty. Insurers and property owners lost over $9.3 million due to the same blazes. Despite igniting 5% of the 24,931 reported fires in 2000, cigarette fires killed 17 civilians, or 22% of all civilian fires deaths

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Priority Action

The overuse of antibiotics on factory farms is threatening these lifesaving antibiotics. Call on the Obama administration to put an end to the worst practices. 

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