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Statement: Prescription Drug Affordability Successes in Yesterday’s Election

November 7, 2018
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

Vincent DeMarco, President of the Maryland Citizens’ Health Initiative, issued the following statement about the election:

“The Election Day results are in and the people have spoken: It’s time to do something about the high cost of prescription drugs in Maryland.  Across the state, voters elected candidates who have committed to our efforts to take major action to bring down the cost of lifesaving medications.

When the General Assembly convenes in January, there will be at least twenty-eight senators and eighty-six delegates – a supermajority in both the State Senate and the House of Delegates– who have already endorsed legislation to create a Prescription Drug Affordability Board. This board will serve as a public watchdog and will review the costs Marylanders pay for drugs to make sure they are fair and affordable. Among the winners are Delegate Joseline Peña-Melnyk and Senator Kathy Klausmeier, the latter of whom won a hotly contested race running on this issue, who will be our lead sponsors in the 2019 General Assembly Session. Governor Hogan has also stated that he will work with us to help bring down drug costs and the members of our broad coalition look forward to working with him.  At the federal level, making prescription drugs more affordable appears to have bipartisan support and we anticipate the same in Maryland.

So many Marylanders struggle to pay for their prescriptions, and we need to fix that. These medications can be lifesavers, but prescription drugs don’t work if people cannot afford them. Maryland took a major step forward by electing lawmakers who will stand with the people, and we are hopeful the General Assembly will enact a Prescription Drug Affordability Board during the 2019 session.”