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Md. prescription drug panel is poised to offer recommendations on prices

September 17th, 2022 by WCBC Radio

In 2019, amid grand promises, state lawmakers launched an effort to force down the price of medications through the creation of a Prescription Drug Affordability Board. WTOP reports that by creating an entity with a mandate to provide consumers with relief, lawmakers boasted, they were making Maryland the first state to take the pharmaceutical industry head on. Nearly three years later, the board’s initial mandate remains narrow — to determine which medications cost too much, then to set up a legally defensible method of capping the amount that state and local government health plans can be forced to pay to provide those drugs to their employees. The board’s work to date has yet to benefit consumers or taxpayers. The panel has been bogged down with administrative chores such as coming up with a way to fund its work and hiring an executive director.

Despite the slow start, the board’s chair, former state Del. Van Mitchell, said the panel is generating momentum. A funding source has been identified, an executive director has been hired, and a “Stakeholder Council” is in place, to provide community and industry input.