PDF of Advisory

Contact: Vincent DeMarco, (410)591-9162

The Maryland Health Care for All! Coalition and AARP Maryland will host a series of community forums across the state in September and October with members of the Maryland Prescription Drug Affordability Board to hear from residents about their struggles to pay high drug costs and provide updates on the board’s work.

These listening sessions will feature planned remarks from a member of the Board its Executive Director, key stakeholders, and elected leaders. Each session will begin with planned remarks from panelists, followed by an opportunity for questions for speakers from the audience and members of the media. Moderators will then lead a roundtable breakout session to facilitate discussion of the issue and collect input from attendees.

These forums will focus on educating the public about the Board, gathering input from consumers around the state, and elevating patient stories.

The currently scheduled sessions include:

  • Sept. 13: Virtual Statewide Forum, 6:30 pm. Sen. Chris Van Hollen will discuss major new provisions curbing the costs of insulin and other prescriptions drugs in the Inflation Reduction Act.  Van Mitchell, chair of the Prescription Drug Affordability Board, will brief attendees on the panel’s work. Click here to register for this online forum.
  • Sept. 14: Howard County Forum 11am featuring Howard County Executive Calvin Ball at the Howard County 50+ Center, 9401 Frederick Road, Ellicott City
  • Sept. 19: Charles County Forum 11am featuring Charles County Commissioner President Reuben B. Collins II, Esq and County Health Officer Dr. Dianna Abney at the Waldorf Senior and Recreational Center, 90 Post Office Road, Waldorf
  • Sept. 21: Anne Arundel County Forum 1am featuring Anne Arundel County Executive Steuart Pittman and County Health Officer Dr. Nilesh Kalyanaraman at the Annapolis, Senior Activity Center, 119 South Villa Avenue, Annapolis
  • Sept. 28: Frederick County Forum 10:30am featuring Frederick County Executive Jan Gardner at the Frederick County Senior Center, 1440 Taney Avenue, Frederick
  • October 4: Montgomery & Prince George’s Counties Forum 10am featuring Montgomery County Executive Marc Elrich at Riderwood Senior Living, Lakeside Commons, Encore Theater, 3150 Gracefield Road, Silver Spring
  • October 7: Baltimore City Forum 12pm featuring Baltimore City Mayor Brandon Scott at the Waxter Senior Center, 1000 Cathedral Street, Baltimore City

The Maryland General Assembly established the Prescription Drug Affordability Board in 2019, the first such board of its kind in the nation. The Board has the authority to examine the high cost of prescription drugs and ascertain how to make these costs more affordable for Marylanders, beginning with procedures to make high-cost drugs more affordable for state and local governments. By 2023, the board will be required to make recommendations to the Maryland General Assembly on how to make high-cost drugs more affordable for all Marylanders. Many states across the country are working to replicate Maryland’s landmark new law.

“Going to the doctor or filling a prescription shouldn’t break the bank, but too often in this country, it does. With the passage of the Inflation Reduction Act, we took an important step to help lower Americans’ health care costs,” said US Senator Chris Van Hollen. “From the extension of Affordable Care Act premium savings to the measures to lower seniors’ bills for insulin and other prescription medications, this new law will save the American people money and save lives.”

 “We in the Maryland General Assembly commend the Prescription Drug Affordability Board for all they are doing to make high cost drugs more affordable for Marylanders,” said Delegate Joseline Peña-Melnyk, Chair of the Maryland House Health and Government Operations Committee. “We look forward to working with the Board and advocates like the Maryland Health Care For All Coalition and AARP to make sure the Board has all the authority and resources it needs to get this job done.”

“The Prescription Drug Affordability Board has been working hard, and we’re excited to meet with the public at these forums to update the community. We also look forward to hearing more from Marylanders about the challenges they face paying for prescription drugs,” said Board Chair Van Mitchell. “That input from residents will help us understand the issue more deeply as we work to develop new approaches to make these lifesaving drugs more affordable.”

“The Board has been doing a great job researching the drug-cost issue in Maryland, and we’re pleased to partner with the Board on these forums to give the community an update and a chance to share their stories,” said Vincent DeMarco, president of the Maryland Health Care for All! Coalition. “The information gathered at these forums will help the Board formulate smart strategies to bring down drug costs, something that is urgently needed.”

“This is a key time for the Board as it begins implementing programs to reduce drug costs. The specific details from the public in these forum sessions will be extremely valuable in this,” said Jim Gutman, a member of Executive Council of AARP Maryland and a member of the PDAB Stakeholder Council representing the public.

Last modified: September 12, 2022