Bipartisan group of state leaders urges House to override drug price board funding veto
Several county executives, associations and the mayor of Baltimore are urging the Maryland General Assembly to override Gov. Larry Hogan’s veto of HB 1095, which would establish a funding source for the Maryland Prescription Drug Affordability Board. The effort will include a radio ad campaign, sponsored by Maryland Citizens’ Health Initiative and AARP Maryland.
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In mid-January, the Maryland Senate voted to override Hogan’s veto of a measure that would fund the Prescription Drug Affordability Board. The measure, SB 669, passed the Senate unanimously and with a nearly bipartisan split in the House of Delegates in March. The bill would fund the board by charging drug manufacturers, insurers, wholesalers and pharmaceutical managers a fee.
Baltimore Mayor Brandon Scott said ensuring the board has adequate funding is an important step in making medications accessible for all.
“Everyone needs to be able to have the medications the need to live a full life. No one should have to make the decision between covering bills and paying for their medication.”
Stuart Pittman, Anne Arundel county executive, expressed surprised the bipartisan bill was vetoed by the governor.
“In our county, we spend more on prescription drugs for our employees than we do on our libraries.”
Jan Gardner, Frederick County Executive, cited the rising cost of insulin is becoming unaffordable for some.
“Unfortunately, some people have died because they couldn’t afford their insulin. We must find a way to bring down the cost of prescriptions.”
We need long-term solutions to these drug issues, said Hank Greenberg, AARP Maryland state director.
“These outrageously high prices affect everyone by raising taxes — your taxes.”