The launch took place in Annapolis on Wednesday.
Annapolis, Md. (KM) The Maryland Citizens Health Initiative on Wednesday launched a major advertising campaign to supports bills in The House of Delegates and the Senate to establish a prescription drug affordability board. If the legislation passes, the board would protect Marylanders from the high cost of prescription drugs.
Vinny DeMarco, the President of the Maryland Health Citizens Initiative, said the high cost of prescriptions is creating a hardship for families and individuals, especially for those who need these medications. “Drugs don’t work if people can’t afford them,” he said. “And we’re here to say that we in Maryland are going to make high cost prescription drugs more affordable for Marylanders.”
The quotes in this story come from audio provided to WFMD by WDVM-TV.
Frederick County Executive Jan Gardner was on hand to offer her support. “Our collective job as legislators and really as people in the state of Maryland is make life better for people,” she said. “And we know that making prescription drugs affordable is an important part of making life better and healthier for people.”
AARP in Maryland was also three to lend support. “Overall, drug prices have increased 9% in 2016 while inflation has increased just over 2%,” says Hank Greenberg, Director of AARP in Maryland. “AARP surveyed our members and determined that we need to work on this legislation, and this is the year to do it.”
Maryland Citizens Health Initiative invited two citizens who have having difficulty paying for their prescription drugs to speak.. One was Larry Zarzecki, who is a Parkinson’s patient, with spinal and brain injuries. “I make a decision every day, what to eat, how to rob Peter to pay Paul per se, and make things work,” he said.
Jessica Gorsky says you pay for prescription drugs with your future. “When you cannot support your retirement, and you no longer have college savings funds, and you don’t have savings. You are not only buying your medications, but giving up the dream of your future along with it,” she says.
Another supporter of the legislation to set up a prescription drug affordability board was Harford County Executive Barry Glassman, whose also President of the Maryland Association of Counties. He said prescription drug affordability is a non-partisan issue. “I’m proud as a Republican to support this bill not only for local governments but for small businesses that struggle each day to try to provide prescription health plans that cover their employees. So this is truly a non-partisan matter,” he said.
On the day that the ad campaign was launched, the House of Delegates and the Senate held hearings on legislation to seat a Maryland prescription affordability board.
By Kevin McManus