The Baltimore Banner
August 30, 2023
Sarah True


Maryland has mounted its own effort to limit drug prices through a Prescription Drug Affordability Board, which state lawmakers established in 2019.

The board was given the authority to set payment limits capping what state and local facilities and health plans pay for medications, with the idea that these limits would someday be extended to all drugs dispensed in Maryland.

It plans to release an “action plan” or framework for setting upper-payment limits this fall, which will then need to be approved by the General Assembly before it can be applied to expensive drugs.

Anderson, who serves on the board, said the method it will use to select drugs subject to upper payment limits will likely be similar to the federal criteria for choosing high-cost drugs for negotiation. He said the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services has done a “very good job” coming up with the selection criteria and the Board “will definitely use what they have developed.”

The key difference, he said, is that the board is not limited to medications that have been on the market for a certain number of years, and can set limits on payments for high-cost medications that have just launched.

“We have a lot of flexibility as to which drugs to choose and they [CMS] did not,” Anderson said, adding that the board will also likely follow in Medicare’s footsteps in terms of starting small with just a few drugs, and building from there.”

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Last modified: August 31, 2023