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County Executive Gardner One of Several Local Officials Supporting Prescription Drug Affordability Board

WFMD, Frederick
January 3, 2019
By: Kevin McManus

Cambridge, Md (KM) Legislation to establish a Prescription Drug Affordability Board received the support of several of Maryland’s local elected officials on Thursday, including Frederick County Executive Jan Gardner. “All of us hear from our constituents about the impacts of the rising costs of prescription medications,” she says.

Gardner joined  executives from Montgomery, Howard, Prince George’s, Harford, Anne Arundel and Baltimore Counties during a news conference in Cambridge on Thursday to express support for the measure. They were already in Cambridge attending the Maryland Association of Counties Winter Conference.

The legislation is scheduled to be introduced during the 2019 Maryland General Assembly when it begins on January 9th. It would set up a panel to review and establish fair and affordable drug costs for Marylanders, according to a news release from Health Care For All. It passed the House of Delegates last year, but didn’t make it out of the State Senate.

Gardner says the price of prescriptions drugs is a concern she hears the most when she attends town halls or other meetings with citizens. “All across the state of Maryland, elected officials–whether they’re responsible for providing health care or not–are hearing from our constituents. They are challenged by their health care costs and the cost of prescription drugs,” she says.

She also acknowledges that the high cost of prescription drugs can take a big bite out of a family’s budget. “This results in a lot of challenging choices for seniors, working families, everyone,” says Gardner. “So this is really an effort across the state of Maryland to make drug costs more affordable for more people.”

At Thursday’s  news conference, the lead sponsor of this bill, Delegate Joseline Pena–Melnyk was on hand, along with representatives from the Maryland Conference of NAACP Branches, AARP Maryland, and the Maryland Citizens Health Initiative.