ANNAPOLIS, MD — Maryland lawmakers can take a stand today on one of the most important issues facing residents — rising prescription drug prices. Today, State House and Senate committees will hold hearings on proposed Prescription Drug Affordability Board legislation, HB 768 and SB 759. The measure would create an independent body with the authority to evaluate high-cost prescription drugs and set rates for Maryland residents to pay. Patients For Affordable Drugs Now today announced its endorsement of the legislation.
“Marylanders get it — Big Pharma sets prices that hurt patients and taxpayers,” said David Mitchell, a cancer patient and the founder of Patients For Affordable Drugs Now. “On behalf of the 4,500 Maryland residents in our community working to lower prescription drug prices, Patients For Affordable Drugs Now is proud to endorse this first-in-nation effort.”
The Prescription Drug Affordability Board bill, sponsored by Senator Katherine Klausmeier and Delegate Joseline Peña-Melnyk would:
Create a five-member board to review new brand-name prescription drugs that enter the market at $30,000 or more per year or course of treatment. It would also review existing brand name medications that increase in price by $3,000 or more.
The Prescription Drug Affordability Board would evaluate high drug costs and work to set reasonable rates.
According to recent polling from the Kaiser Family Foundation, only 25 percent of Americans say they trust drug corporations to price their products fairly, down from 41 percent in 2008.
Patients For Affordable Drugs Now is a bipartisan national patient organization focused exclusively on policies to lower drug prices. To maintain its independence, the group does not accept donations from organizations that profit from the development and distribution of prescription drugs.