A Maryland House of Delegates committee voted overwhelmingly Friday to advance legislation that would create a Prescription Drug Affordability Board that could set limits on how much state and local governments pay for high-cost medications.
The Health and Government Operations Committee voted 19-3 to support the legislation, which will advance to the full House of Delegates on Monday. The legislation, sponsored by Del. Joseline A. Pena-Melnyk, who represents Anne Arundel and Prince George’s counties, is an agreed-upon priority this session of Maryland Democratic leadership, which controls the General Assembly.
“This is a major step forward in our effort to bring down the costs of prescription drugs in Maryland,” said Vincent DeMarco, president of the Maryland Citizens’ Health Initiative.
The bill would create a Prescription Drug Affordability Board, which would aim to keep down the costs of prescription drug products. It would cost more than $600,000 to establish the board, according to a fiscal note.
Pharmaceutical Research and Manufacturers of America spokesman Nick McGee released a statement after the vote criticizing the legislation, which he called “dangerous” and said would likely backfire.