By Robert Lang

March 8, 2019

Lawmakers this year approved a scaled-back version of legislation to create a state board to evaluate high-cost prescription drugs for state and local governments.

The bill was going to require all prescription drug prices to be subject to board approval. Under the bill now on Gov. Larry Hogan’s desk, the board would only apply to prescriptions covered under state and local government employee health plans.

Vincent DeMarco, president of the Maryland Citizens Health Initiative, says the board will be required to make annual reports on its impact on drug costs, and advocates will push for legislation next year to apply to prescription drugs offered in employee health plans in the private sector.

DeMarco says this bill will hold drug companies accountable for their prices.

If signed into law, Maryland would become the first state in the nation to have such a board.

Democratic and Republican county executives from the region had endorsed the bill.


Last modified: April 10, 2019