AUGUSTA, ME — In response to news that Gov. Janet Mills today signed a series of bills to hold drug corporations accountable for exorbitant price hikes and allow for the safe importation of prescription drugs from Canada, Patients For Affordable Drugs Now Executive Director Ben Wakana issued the following statement:
“This is a victory for Maine patients and taxpayers who are fed up with unrestrained drug prices. We applaud Governor Mills and the legislature for focusing on this issue, and we look forward to additional action next year to continue fixing our broken system and ensuring Mainers have access to lifesaving prescription drugs.”
Here’s how the signed legislation will benefit Mainers:
LD 1162: Requires drug manufacturers to disclose the costs to develop, produce, and market certain drugs, and builds on a law passed last year that requires the Maine Health Data Organization to post the most expensive and commonly prescribed drugs.
LD 1504: Increases transparency between manufacturers, PBMs, and consumers. The bill requires that PBMs pass their rebates on to consumers or insurers to lower premiums. Consumers also must be offered the cash price of a drug if it is lower than their copay.
LD 1499: Creates the Maine Prescription Drug Affordability Board, an independent body with the authority to determine specific prescription drug spending targets based on a 10-year average.
In advance of today's bill signing, Patients For Affordable Drugs Now published a series of patient stories to underscore the urgency of the drug pricing crisis in Maine. Additionally, four patients testified at an April hearing, patients spoke out in the press, and Mainers were given the tools to contact their legislators in support of the proposed changes.