On May 26, 2017, Governor Larry Hogan of Maryland decided to allow the first-in-the nation bill that stops price-gouging of generic and off-patent prescription drugs in Maryland to become law without his signature. The law will officially take effect on October 1st and is a victory for patients and health advocates in Maryland. The YP-CDN Baltimore Chapter is proud and excited to have been an integral part of this effort. Health advocates are focusing on implementation of the law and are setting up avenues for consumers to report drug price increases they have noticed. In addition, they are searching for evidence to enforced the law and to protect patients from excessive drug price increases.
Along with the new law has emerged a webpage in the form of Google Form, which invites Marylanders to report how much they are actually paying for their prescription drugs. In this way of direct communication with the public, the state seeks to actively keep checks on unreasonable price hikes and uphold drug price transparency.
The passage of this new law is a great starting point for future efforts. Many of the highest drug prices that negatively impacting patients and families across America are brand-name and biologic (not generic) drugs. Having fair pricing for these drugs will be a priority going forward for YP-CDN Baltimore.