Maine Governor Janet Mills signed a series of bills yesterday that will reduce the high cost of prescription drug prices. This will give consumers, especially senior citizens, much needed financial relief.
The new legislation is comprised of four bills that responds to voters requests to stop the increases in drug prices. Maine now joins a growing number of States that tired of waiting for Congress to pass legislation. For consumers, making prescription drugs affordable is the number one issue of concern.
Maine: What The Legislation Says
Together, these bills bring price transparency to a situation that has been shrouded in secrecy. Now, Maine families will know exactly what their drug costs are and be able to budget accordingly.
The four bills Mills signed Monday include:
- A measure to establish a prescription drug importation program. This bill is modeled after the measure Vermont passed in 2018. Moreover, it makes Maine the third state to approve such a measure this year. Governors in Colorado and Florida have already signed similar bills. This legislation also directs state health officials to consider whether Maine’s importation program may be developed in conjunction with other states.
- A provision to strengthen the state’s drug transparency law to require brand-name pharmaceutical manufacturers to annually report any price increases of more than 20 percent and for generic manufacturers to report 20 percent price hikes for medicines that cost at least $10 per pill or other unit.
- A bill creating a Prescription Drug Affordability Board. This board sets prescription drug spending targets. It recommends solutions such as bulk purchasing and negotiating specific rebate amounts.
- A measure to require pharmacy benefit managers (PBMs) to pass along to consumers all rebates they receive from drug makers. In addition, PBMs must also offer the cash price if it is lower than the patient’s insurance co-payment.