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Maryland Sued Over New Pharmaceutical Price Gauging Law

CBS Baltimore
Devin Bartolotta
July 8, 2017

BALTIMORE (WJZ)– Drug companies are fighting back against a new price gouging law in Maryland that gives the attorney general power to sue for big price hikes. The companies are urging a judge to throw it out.

The price gouging law was intended to help Maryland families, but drug companies are arguing it might just do the opposite.

A big pharma face-off is going down in federal court.

“At the rate that it’s been increasing, it’s not sustainable for our family,” parent Suzanne Schlattman says.

Among the highest price changes:

  • Albuterol – originally $11, now $434
  • EpiPen – originally $50, now $304
  • Naloxone – originally $690, now $4,500

Advocates like Vincent DeMarco, with Maryland Citizens Health Initiative, say he’ll do everything he can to keep the law in place.

“It makes no sense. Maryland has a responsibility and an obligation to do this. To stop price gouging, which hurts Maryland consumers,” DeMarco says.

The Association for Accessible Medicines is playing defense by saying the law could push companies to stop making certain drugs to avoid being sued by the State.

The organization says:

“No one supports price gouging, but this law isn’t the right fix. It may force drug prices up for patients, not down. That’s why we’re trying to have it thrown out and help the State start over.”

Starting over will be a tough pill to swallow for both sides.

Governor Larry Hogan allowed the bill to become law at the end of May without his signature, he claims the language was too vague.

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