ANNAPOLIS, Md. — Maryland is taking a strong stand on drug prices today with the introduction of SB1023, legislation to establish a drug cost commission and ensure Maryland residents pay fair prices for prescriptions. The legislation is strongly endorsed by Patients For Affordable Drugs NOW, a bipartisan national patient organization focused on policies to lower drug prices. Patients For Affordable Drugs NOW announced plans to educate, activate, and mobilize Maryland patients in support of the bill.
“The Maryland residents we hear from are tired of drug corporations raising prices without regard to the harm to patients and consumers,” said David Mitchell, a cancer patient and Maryland resident whose drugs cost $450,000 per year and the Founder of Patients For Affordable Drugs NOW. “The legislation introduced today would be a serious step forward toward helping millions of Marylanders by keeping drugs affordable. I urge the legislature to move quickly and enact this critical measure.”
P4ADNOW has collected hundreds of stories from the Appalachians to the Chesapeake Bay. The organization will create online tools that help patients contact elected officials in support of the bill, and it will amplify the voices of Maryland residents struggling under high drug prices to make elected officials see the heavy toll of high-priced drugs.
Among those residents is John Darby, 48, a married father of two with a rare blood cancer. For a decade, he’s relied on a daily injection to manage his illness. Its price is $5,200 per month.
“This is the only medication available at this time that keeps him healthy enough to work, be a father and stay alive,” said Helen Darby, his wife.
The bill would:
- Establish a commission that will catalogue rate hikes above a certain threshold.
- Create a review process to determine whether or not these hikes were excessive.
- Require bad actors to reimburse taxpayers for unjustified tax hikes.
A partner bill, HB1194, is expected to be introduced March 6.
Patients For Affordable Drugs NOW does not accept donations from organizations that profit from the development or distribution of prescription drugs.