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Freshman delegate gets lesson in prescription drug pricing, insurance in first term | Frederick News Post

The General Assembly is close to finishing its work on a separate bill, which will establish a five-member Prescription Drug Affordability Board to review the costs of certain prescription drugs. A Prescription Drug Affordability Stakeholder Council — comprised of 25 members — will advise the board.

“By design it’s a confusing system, so that it’s hard to know how prescription drugs are priced,” Kerr said.

Insurance companies, drug manufactures, drug distributors, pharmacies and managed-care operations all hold different pieces of information, but they do not readily share their piece with others, he said. It’s taken detective work by members of the committee to fill-in the missing pieces to try to offer “truth in pricing” for pharmaceuticals.

The board and council will continue that work by reviewing drugs prices that are attached to inflation or cost more than $100 per month, dose or unit. The board’s decisions will be eligible for appeal.

By Dec. 31, 2020, the two groups must complete a report on how drug shortages may effect the cost of prescription drugs and recommend strategies to make the drug more affordable in the state. They must also study other states that collect data on drug prices and whether Maryland could share that data.

The bill will only apply to state and municipal employees, though, the committee had hoped to include all Marylanders, Kerr said. There is a strong likelihood that the legislation will be challenged in court, if it is passed.

“We’ll be the first state to attempt to regulate the cost of pharmaceuticals,” Kerr said.

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Freshman delegate gets lesson in prescription drug pricing, insurance in first term | Insurance | fredericknewspost.com.

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