I am a pro-business Republican county executive. I am also a strong supporter of legislation to establish a state Prescription Drug Affordability Board to set fair and affordable costs that Marylanders will pay for certain medications.
In the recent commentary, “Over-regulating drugs threatens Md. Life sciences industry” (Jan. 21), a pharmaceutical industry representative made claims about the possible impact of the legislation that missed the mark. I take such claims seriously, as we need to support and attract businesses in Maryland. But in my view, Maryland businesses involved in drug research will not be hurt by creation of a Prescription Drug Affordability Board. The industry spends far more on advertising than on research, so it can easily withstand efforts in Maryland to make drug costs more affordable.
The reality is that many Harford County residents and people across the state struggle to pay for the lifesaving drugs they need. I know families who must choose between paying for a prescription or paying the rent or utility bill.
Soaring drug costs also pose a problem for the Harford County government, driving up costs of insuring our employees and of other healthcare needs. Bringing down the cost of prescription medications will ease county spending, allowing us to invest more in education and other important local priorities.
I urge all members of the General Assembly, both my fellow Republicans and Democrats, to support the Prescription Drug Affordability Board legislation. This will help all Marylanders, including the business community.
Barry Glassman, Bel Air
The writer, a Republican, is Harford County executive.