Bill To Confirm The Authority Of The Md. Prescription Drug Affordability Board Signed By Governor

The Md. Health Care For All Coalition lobbied  for this measure.

Frederick, Md (KM) A bill which affirms the authority of the Maryland Prescription Drug Affordability Board was signed into law by Governor Wes Moore on Tuesday. Vinny DeMarco, the President of the Maryland Health Care for All Coalition, says he and other Coalition members pushed for passage of this measure. “And we’re confident that with this authority that was confirmed in this legislation, and a million additional dollars allocated to them in the budget, the Board will this year work to make high cost drugs more affordable for state and local governments,:” he says.

The original legislation setting up the Prescription Drug Affordability Board was passed in 2019. This new bill signed into law will give the Board authority to examine the high cost of prescription drugs and determine how to make these costs more affordable for employees of state and local governments. It also  appropriates  $1-million in additional funding for the Board to so that it has the resources to do is job.

With more money being spent on the high cost of prescription drugs, DeMarco says that means state and local governments have s little less resources to spend on improving and enhancing services, and other projects such as parks and libraries. “Let’s let our state an and local governments have the money they need to provide the services we need by making these high cost drugs more affordable. And we hope to come back to the General Assembly to allow them to pass legislation to give them the authority to make high cost drugs more affordable to everyone,” says DeMarco.

He says the Maryland Health Care for All Coalition will be back in 2024 to get the Legislature to extend this Board’s authority to put  limits on prescription drug prices for all Marylanders. “The state of Colorado has that now. They passed their law after we passed ours. Their board has the authority on all high cost drugs,” says DeMarco. “We want that authority in Maryland, and we’re going to urge the General Assembly to do that.”

By Kevin McManus