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Maryland Officials to Support Prescription Drug Board

WBOC, Salisbury
January 3, 2019

CAMBRIDGE, Md. (AP/WBOC)- Leading local officials in Maryland’s largest counties are expected to support a proposal to create a state board to review the affordability of prescription drugs.

Dozens of organizations have signed a petition urging the General Assembly to create a drug panel during the 2019 session, which begins next Wednesday. On Thursday, during the Maryland Association of Counties winter conference in Cambridge, several county executives are expected to endorse the legislation. They include Montgomery County Executive Marc Elrich and Prince George’s County Executive Angela Alsobrooks.

Baltimore County Executive Johnny Olszewski and Anne Arundel County Executive Steuart Pittman also are expected to endorse the proposal, along with Howard County Executive Calvin Ball and Harford County Executive Barry Glassman. Frederick County Executive Jan Gardner is expected to support the plan as well.

Baltimore Mayor Catherine Pugh has endorsed the plan.

As drafted, the Prescription Drug Affordability Board would consist of five members, appointed by the governor, attorney general and legislative leaders. It would have the power to review price spikes in drugs already on the market and new medications that have an initial cost above $30,000 per year.

A bill creating a prescription price review board was considered during last year’s legislative session but did not advance.