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Hogan lets drug price-gouging bill, dozens others become law without signature

Baltimore Sun (excerpt)
Michael Dresser
May 26, 2017

Gov. Larry Hogan said Friday he will not block a new law giving the Maryland attorney general’s office authority to take generic drug makers to court to challenge allegedly excessive price increases.

The groundbreaking measure was one of dozens the governor allowed to become law without his signature, including one putting strict limits on the ability of public schools to expel or suspend their youngest students.

….

Vincent DeMarco, president of the Maryland Citizens Health Initiative, hailed the governor’s decision not to veto the drug price-gouging bill. He said the measure was the first of its kind in the United States.

“This is great news for Maryland consumers,” he said. “Prescription drug prices have been like the Wild West — completely uncontrolled. Now there’s a new sheriff in town in Attorney General Brian Frosh.”

Frosh, along with DeMarco, was a leading proponent of the legislation.

In a letter, the governor expressed concern about the constitutionality of the measure, saying it could violate the interstate commerce clause. He also criticized the definition of “excessive” drug prices as too vague.

“I am not convinced this legislation is truly a solution to ensuring Marylanders have access to essential prescription drugs, and may even have the unintended consequence of harming citizens by restricting their access to these drugs,” Hogan wrote.

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