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Media Advisory: Maryland Officials to Mark Launch of Prescription Drug Affordability Board Law

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

Contact: Vincent DeMarco, 410-591-9162

Maryland Officials to Mark Launch of Prescription Drug Affordability Board Law 

Law goes into effect July 1st to create nation’s first state
oversight board to bring down prescription drug costs

What: Launch of Prescription Drug Affordability Board News Conference

When: Monday, July 1st, 10:30 a.m.

Where: MedChi (State Medical Society) office, 1211 Cathedral St., Baltimore, MD 21201

Who: Delegate Joseline Peña-Melnyk (Prince George’s), lead House sponsor
Senator Brian Feldman (Montgomery), Senate floor leader
Maryland Attorney General Brian Frosh
Howard County Executive Calvin Ball
Frederick County Executive Jan Gardner
Anne Arundel County Executive Steuart Pittman
Baltimore City Health Commissioner Dr. Letitia Dzirasa
Dr. Richard Bruno, Chair of the Public Health Committee of MedChi
Wandra Ashley-Williams, Maryland NAACP Vice President
Hank Greenberg, AARP State Director
Ricarra Jones, Political Director, 1199 SEIU
Rev. Dell Hinton, Central Maryland Ecumenical Council
Marylanders who will share their stories about paying for expensive medicines
Vincent DeMarco, President, Maryland Citizens’ Health Initiative

Maryland takes an important step forward in its efforts to bring down the costs of prescription drugs on July 1st, when a state law takes effect to create a Prescription Drug Affordability Board to set maximum costs for certain expensive medications. This is the first board of its kind in the nation and establishes Maryland as a leader in making prescription drugs more affordable.

“July 1st marks a major milestone in our campaign to make prescription drugs more affordable for people across Maryland,” said Vincent DeMarco, president of Maryland Citizens’ Health Initiative. “The new Prescription Drug Affordability Board will have the authority to be a strong public watchdog and will help bring down the costs of drugs. Drugs don’t work if people can’t afford them, but we want Marylanders to know that help is on the way.”

The new board will have the authority, with the approval of the Legislative Policy Committee, to set maximum costs for certain drugs purchased by state and local governments. The measure will help state and local governments reduce expenditures on certain high-cost drugs, freeing up public funds for other needs, such as education. The new five-member board will also play an important role by recommending action Maryland should take to make drugs more affordable for all Marylanders.

At the July 1st news conference, state and local officials will join policymakers and advocates from a variety of statewide organizations to celebrate the new law and discuss how it will lead to benefits for average Marylanders. The news conference will also feature Maryland residents who will share their stories about struggling to afford the medications they need.

More information about the law can be found here.