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New Bill Gives Attorney General Power To Go After High Drug Prices

By Duna Bil , Jan 28, 2017 02:43 AM EST
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A new bill in Annapolis gives the Maryland attorney general power to go after high prescription drug prices, and it garners overwhelming support. The latest public opinion poll finds that 84 percent of Maryland citizens favor prescription drug transparency, indicating that they want to know how much pills actually cost. Additionally, 89 percent want to be notified on price increases, and 84 percent favor the attorney general having the authority to take legal action regarding price gouging.

The results of the survey are being heard by the General Assembly as 24 of 29 senators are currently co-sponsoring legislation that makes drug companies accountable for prescription costs. The bill has gained 77 co-sponsors in the House. "We think these are reasonable measures that can work to help reduce prescription drug prices," said a member of Maryland Citizens' Health Initiative, Vinnie DeMarco of the new bill.

The survey was commissioned by a group called the Partnership to Fight Chronic Disease commissioned. It finds that most people think that their health insurance premiums are influencing the cost of prescription drug prices. According to the WBAL TV, the organization finds that 70 percent of health care spending is associated to patients with three or more chronic medical conditions.

Supporters of the legislation think that going after health insurance premiums is a distraction. "This is not going to hurt these corporations. It's just going to make them disclose the basis of their high prices," DeMarco said. No committee hearings have been scheduled yet as the battle over the issue is being waged by lobbyists and legislative offices.

Meanwhile, according to The American Spectator, President Trump is also looking for ways to effectively lower drug prices. He presents government bidding and drug re-importation as his solutions. However, analysts say that if ever one of these become a new bill, it will likely increase costs in other areas.

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