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Despite pharma’s best efforts, Maryland advances major drug pricing bill | STAT

NNAPOLIS, Md. — The drug industry has long been seen as invincible in this small state capital, where last year it retained more than 100 lobbyists: two for every state senator, plus a dozen to spare.

So drug pricing advocates considered it nothing short of a triumph this past Monday when, with an hour remaining before their 2019 session expired, lawmakers passed a first-of-its kind law to create a state board that could cap payments for ultra-expensive prescription drugs.

Representatives of the trade group PhRMA had been so unnerved by the proposal that in meetings with lawmakers, they outlined scenarios in which the legislation would leave cancer patients without cutting-edge treatments or cause a mass exodus of state employees. And, of course, they hinted in less-than-subtle terms that the pharmaceutical industry would likely challenge the new law in court.

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Despite pharma’s best efforts, Maryland advances major drug pricing bill.

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