First-ever State Drug Affordability Commission Becomes Law in Maryland

ANNAPOLIS, MD — In response to news that Maryland's law to create the nation’s first Prescription Drug Affordability Board will go into effect on July 1, 2019, Patients For Affordable Drugs Now Executive Director Ben Wakana issued the following statement:
 
“This is a huge victory for Maryland patients and taxpayers. We are asserting the power of citizens to push back against the abusive monopoly pricing of drug corporations, and this new law is a step toward the day when all taxpayers and patients can use their purchasing power to demand fair prices for the prescription drugs we need.”
 
BACKGROUND

  • Gov. Larry Hogan announced today that he would neither veto nor sign the measure, meaning it will become law on July 1. 

  • The Maryland legislature created the Prescription Drug Affordability Board on bipartisan votes. The bill 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.

    • Review existing brand name medications that increase in price by $3,000 or more per year.

    • Authorize the board, with the approval of the legislative policy committee, to establish maximum costs to be paid by state and local governments for certain high-cost medications.

  • Patients For Affordable Drugs Now endorsed the legislation and ran an aggressive campaign to support the bill, including digital ads that gave thousands of state residents the tools to support its passage. The five-figure P4ADNow effort supported state partners, including AARP Maryland, NAACP, MedChi, and the Maryland Health Care For All Coalition.

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