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Media Advisory

Contact: Vincent DeMarco, President, MCHI (410)235-9000

(Baltimore, MD May 2, 2018)  Representative John Sarbanes will join the Maryland Health Care For All! Coalition and other Maryland health leaders in highlighting Maryland’s new law prohibiting the so-called pharmacy “gag rule.”   Maryland is now the eleventh state in the nation to ban the practice by which some Pharmaceutical Benefit Managers (PBM’s) prohibit pharmacists from telling consumers about the least expensive ways for them to purchase their drugs.  Representative Sarbanes will especially thank lead sponsors Senator Katherine Klausmeier and Delegate Eric Bromwell.

“It’s truly inspiring to see Maryland at the forefront of state-led efforts to lower prescription drug costs,” said Congressman Sarbanes. “The nation needs to follow Maryland’s lead and make life-saving medication more affordable for hardworking Americans.”

“Building on last year’s anti-price gouging law, this measure puts Maryland in the forefront of making prescription drugs more affordable,” said Rep. Elijah Cummings.  “I urge other states and the federal government to follow Maryland’s lead so that consumers can know the least expensive way that they can purchase the drugs they need.  I will continue to demand that the US Congress considers legislation that will address the life-saving issue of prescription drug affordability.”

“I strongly oppose gag rules because they prevent patients from making informed choices, and I applaud Maryland for putting an end to this deceptive practice in our state.” said Senator Van Hollen. “Gag rules are bad for patients, for pharmacists, and for our health care system, and I support federal legislation to put an end to this abuse and ensure that all consumers are informed of their options.”

“We can be proud of the bipartisan work we did together in Maryland to get this law passed,” said Senator Klausmeier. “I thank the advocates, my colleagues in the General Assembly, and Governor Hogan for all making sure that in Maryland, consumers won’t be deprived of knowledge that they need to be able to afford the drugs they need.”

“I have heard directly from my constituents about how the so-called gag rule has hurt consumers,” said Delegate Eric Bromwell. “Passing this legislation has been one of my top priorities and I am very proud to say it is now the law of our state.”

“We commend Senator Klausmeier and Delegate Bromwell for their leadership on this issue,” said Vincent DeMarco, President of the Maryland Citizens’ Health Initiative and the Health Care For All! Coalition. “Thanks to them Marylanders can know that they will not be kept from critically needed information about how they can best afford the drugs they need.”

When: Thursday May 3, 2018 at 12:00PM
Where: Episcopal Dioscean Center, 4 E University Parkway Baltimore, MD 21218
Who: Rep. John Sarbanes
Senator Kathy Klausmeier
Delegate Eric Bromwell
Vincent DeMarco

The Health Care for All! Coalition is a broad-based coalition of over 1200 faith, labor, business and community groups that have been working to guarantee all Marylanders access to quality, affordable health care.  To learn more, visit http://www.healthcareforall.com

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