AUGUSTA — The following statement was issued by Lucy Westerfield, deputy executive director of Patients For Affordable Drugs Now, following the Maine state house and senate votes to pass the Making Health Care Work for Maine package to lower drug prices:

“On behalf of Maine patients, we applaud the Maine state house and senate for passing Making Health Care Work for Maine, a strong bipartisan bill package that stands up to Big Pharma. If signed into law, two of the five bills — LD 675 and LD 1117 — will be the first-in-the-nation legislation of its kind to protect patients from pharmaceutical price gouging and unjustified price increases. Today’s passage is a significant milestone in the effort to provide meaningful relief to Mainers who struggle to afford their medications due to high prices.”