New Law Goes Into Effect to Strengthen The Maryland Prescription Drug Affordability Board
BALTIMORE, M.A. —The Maryland Health Care for All! Coalition applauds Governor Wes Moore for signing into law today emergency legislation passed by the Maryland General Assembly which confirms the authority of the Maryland Prescription Drug Affordability Board to do its critical work to make high cost drugs more affordable for Marylanders. We also commend the Governor and General Assembly for appropriating $1 million in additional funding for the PDAB in this year’s budget to make sure the PDAB has the necessary resources to do this life-saving work.
“The Maryland Health Care For All! Coalition commends Governor Wes Moore for signing this legislation (SB202; HB279) into law, confirming the authority of Maryland’s landmark Prescription Drug Affordability Board to place upper payment limits on what state and local governments pay for high cost drugs,” said Vincent DeMarco, president of the Coalition. “We also thank the Maryland General Assembly and particularly Senator Brian Feldman and Delegate Bonnie Cullison, the lead sponsors, for passing this important law. We look forward to supporting the PDAB as it uses this authority to make high-cost drugs more affordable for state and local governments and, we hope in the near future, for all of us. Drugs don’t work if people can’t afford them.”
The General Assembly established the Prescription Drug Affordability Board in 2019, the first such board of its kind in the nation. The Board has the authority to examine the high cost of prescription drugs and ascertain how to make these costs more affordable for Marylanders, beginning with procedures to make high-cost drugs more affordable for state and local governments.
This new law makes clear that the PDAB has the authority, subject to the approval of the Legislative Policy Committee, to put upper payment limits on what state and local governments pay for high cost drugs. The PDAB will then make recommendations to the General Assembly on the authority it should have to make high cost drugs more affordable for all Marylanders. Many states across the country are working to replicate Maryland’s landmark drug-affordability strategy.
“This bill is an important step in our efforts to bring down the costs of expensive prescription drugs,” said Governor Wes Moore. “Too many Marylanders can’t afford the medications they need, and Maryland‘s first in the nation Prescription Drug Affordability Board is working hard on solutions to make life saving drugs more affordable. We look forward to working with them to implement those solutions in the years ahead.”
“The Prescription Drug Affordability Board continues to explore effective ways to make prescription drugs more affordable for Marylanders, and I am so pleased that the General Assembly acted quickly to make sure the Board has the authority it needs to continue its important work,” said Sen. Brian Feldman. “With this law in place, Marylander consumers can rest assured that the Board will advocate for access to prescription drugs at more reasonable prices.”
“Bringing down the costs of expensive prescription drugs is a priority for me, and this Board is working hard on strategies to accomplish that,” said Del. Bonnie Cullison, the lead House sponsor. “I am grateful that my colleagues in the legislature demonstrated their commitment to meeting this goal by passing this important legislation.”