Daily Record
March 22, 2024
Op-ed by Vincent DeMarco


With financing finally secured by Gov. Wes Moore in 2023, the board, under the able leadership of Chair Van Mitchell, has worked tirelessly to establish upper payment limits to make certain expensive drugs more affordable for state and local governments. This will be a huge step forward and will help bring down drug costs for governments, saving taxpayer dollars.

The next step is for the General Assembly to expand the board’s authority to authorize it to help all Marylanders afford high-cost drugs. Legislation to do that was introduced in the General Assembly this year, but legislators opted to tackle that issue in 2025, after the board acts on the upper payment limits for government agencies.

Expanding the board’s authority is highly popular with the public. Polling conducted last fall by respected pollster OpinionWorks found that more than 4 out of 5 voters (83%) favor having a Prescription Drug Affordability Board with the power to make high-cost drugs more affordable. And 80% of Marylanders favor expanding the authority of the Board.

Our organization has built a large, statewide coalition of over 450 faith, business, labor, consumer and health organizations, as well as many individuals, that are passionate about supporting the Board’s efforts to make high cost drugs more affordable for all Marylanders.

With that kind of public support, our legislative champions are committed to continuing the work of the Board, and we are confident the General Assembly will act in 2025 to expand the board’s authority.  We know that the big drug corporations will oppose this effort and try to argue that they need drug costs to be so high so they can pay for drug research.

A new report issued by Public Citizen and Protect our Care, however, shows that the 10 drug corporations whose drugs are being identified for possible negotiation with Medicare under the Inflation Reduction Act in 2022 spent over $22 million more on advertising and high corporate salaries and other profit-taking than on research. Plainly, we can make high cost drugs more affordable for Marylanders without preventing the drug corporations from doing the research they need to do.”

Read the full article at Daily Record.com

Last modified: March 22, 2024