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If the states don’t treat pharma as a utility, it may be ‘lights out’ for too many patients

From Stat News

By Ed Silverman

April 25, 2019

EXCERPT

Meanwhile, state lawmakers are, correctly, not counting on Washington to come to the rescue.

“Unlike in other industrialized nations, there is no entity at the federal level in the U.S. which would make the drug corporations justify what they charge for high-cost drugs and protect Americans from unaffordable costs for critically needed drugs,” says Joseline Peña-Melnyk, who co-sponsored a bill in Maryland that is the closest to becoming law.

Earlier this month, legislators there voted to create a Prescription Drug Affordability Board, and Maryland Gov. Larry Hogan has until the end of May to either support or veto the measure. Meanwhile, bills are percolating in seven other states, according to National Academy for State Health Policy, an independent group of state policy makers that has championed setting upper payment limits for medicines.