Maryland Lawmakers OK Measure to Fight Drug Price Gouging - WBOC-TV 16, Delmarvas News Leader, FOX 21 -

Maryland Lawmakers OK Measure to Fight Drug Price Gouging

Posted: Updated:
(Photo: CBS) (Photo: CBS)

ANNAPOLIS, Md. (AP)- Maryland would be the first state to empower the state's attorney general to take action to stop pharmaceutical price gouging, under a measure given final passage by lawmakers on Monday.
    
The bill sent to Gov. Larry Hogan would enable the attorney general to bring civil actions against manufacturers of off-patent or generic drugs that make an "unconscionable" price increase - described as an excessive increase unjustified by the cost of producing or distributing the drug.
    
"When a drug company doubles or triples - or multiplies by 50 - the price of medication, it imperils the health and finances of patients and their families, and it threatens public health," said Democratic Maryland Attorney General Brian Frosh.
    
Manufacturers could face a fine of up to $10,000 per violation. The attorney general would be able to request additional information from the corporations that instituted the price increases to help determine if price gouging has occurred.
    
"The new law will give Maryland a necessary tool to combat unjustified and extreme prices for medicines that have long been on the market and that are essential to our health and well-being," Frosh said.
    
Concerns about sky-high drug prices have been building for years nationally. They boiled over last year after it was revealed that Turing Pharmaceuticals and Canadian drugmaker Valeant Pharmaceuticals were hiking prices on previously low-priced medicines for patients with heart problems and other life-threatening conditions. Still, Congress has been unable to act.
    
Doug Mayer, a spokesman for the Republican governor, said Hogan will review the bill before deciding whether to sign it. The Democrat-led legislature passed the measure with bipartisan support in both houses, more than enough to override a veto by the governor. The vote was 38-7 in the Senate and 137-2 in the House.
    
Vincent DeMarco, president of Maryland Citizens' Health Initiative, said the problem of price gouging has been going on for too long, and it's time for states to do what the federal government has been unable to tackle. The group describes itself as a coalition of hundreds of faith community, labor, business and health care groups that works for quality and affordable health care in the state.
    
"Our health care advocate colleagues all across the country have been calling us to ask how they can replicate what we just did," DeMarco said after the final vote Monday.
    
Critics say the measure will chill competition among generic drug manufacturers and end up making drugs more expensive. Chester Davis, president and CEO of the Association for Accessible Medicines, urged the governor to veto the measure.
    
"This bill will harm both Maryland patients and taxpayers alike and thus should be vetoed by Governor Hogan," Davis said in a statement.
    
Dr. Jeremy Greene, who practices at the East Baltimore Medical Center, praised the legislation. He said he sees patients who have trouble affording off-patent drugs every month.
    
"I find myself seeing evidence of these problems repeatedly in my clinical experience and increasingly in the past five years," Greene, a professor of the history of medicine at Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine, said Monday.

  • Delmarvawide NewsDelmarvawide NewsMore>>

  • Downtown Tree Lighting Excites Community

    Downtown Tree Lighting Excites Community

    11/17/2017 23:38:00 -05:002017-11-18 04:38:00 GMT
    Friday, November 17 2017 11:45 PM EST2017-11-18 04:45:07 GMT
    Downtown Salisbury Tree Lighting CeremonyDowntown Salisbury Tree Lighting Ceremony
    SALISBURY, Md.- Downtown Salisbury flipped the switch on Friday night, lighting up their 18-foot Christmas tree and 5-foot menorah for the holiday season. With the excitement of this first holiday event many community members said even though it isnMore
    Downtown Salisbury flipped the switch on Friday night, lighting up their 18-foot Christmas tree and 5-foot menorah for the holiday season.More
  • Hearing in Delaware Prison Lawsuit Postponed

    Hearing in Delaware Prison Lawsuit Postponed

    11/17/2017 19:27:00 -05:002017-11-18 00:27:00 GMT
    Friday, November 17 2017 7:27 PM EST2017-11-18 00:27:47 GMT
    The James T. Vaughn Correctional Center in Smyrna, Del. (Photo: WBOC)The James T. Vaughn Correctional Center in Smyrna, Del. (Photo: WBOC)
    DOVER, Del. (AP) - A judge has granted a request by lawyers for Delaware to delay a hearing in a federal lawsuit filed against the state in a deadly prison siege.U.S. District Judge Richard Andrews granted the request Friday, according to court records.More
    DOVER, Del. (AP) - A judge has granted a request by lawyers for Delaware to delay a hearing in a federal lawsuit filed against the state in a deadly prison siege.U.S. District Judge Richard Andrews granted the request Friday, according to court records.More
  • New Report Finds Industrial Facilities Violating Pollution Permits, Harming Bay

    New Report Finds Industrial Facilities Violating Pollution Permits, Harming Bay

    11/17/2017 19:10:00 -05:002017-11-18 00:10:00 GMT
    Friday, November 17 2017 7:10 PM EST2017-11-18 00:10:32 GMT
    From the sewer to the ocean and everything in between, environmentalists say stormwater pollution is draining the health of the Chesapeake Bay.
    It's a problem that isn't getting better.
    More
    From the sewer to the ocean and everything in between, environmentalists say stormwater pollution is draining the health of the Chesapeake Bay.
    It's a problem that isn't getting better.
    More
  • Most Popular StoriesMost Popular StoriesMore>>

  • Parkside High School Teacher Back Behind Bars

    Parkside High School Teacher Back Behind Bars

    11/17/2017 17:29:00 -05:002017-11-17 22:29:00 GMT
    Friday, November 17 2017 5:29 PM EST2017-11-17 22:29:39 GMT
    Monica W. SneeMonica W. Snee
    The Wicomico County Sheriff's Office says the Parkside High School teacher arrested earlier this week in connection to a drug investigation is back behind bars.More
    The Wicomico County Sheriff's Office says the Parkside High School teacher arrested earlier this week in connection to a drug investigation is back behind bars.More
  • Parkside High Student Tased During Arrest

    Parkside High Student Tased During Arrest

    11/17/2017 15:57:00 -05:002017-11-17 20:57:00 GMT
    Friday, November 17 2017 3:57 PM EST2017-11-17 20:57:05 GMT
    Parkside High School (Photo: WBOC)Parkside High School (Photo: WBOC)
    The Wicomico County Sheriff's Office reports a Parkside High School student was tased by police during a drug investigation.More
    The Wicomico County Sheriff's Office reports a Parkside High School student was tased by police during a drug investigation.More
  • Six Arrested in Seaford Prostitution Sting

    Six Arrested in Seaford Prostitution Sting

    11/16/2017 13:46:00 -05:002017-11-16 18:46:00 GMT
    Friday, November 17 2017 10:14 AM EST2017-11-17 15:14:25 GMT

    Police have uncovered a prostitution operation involving six suspects in the city of Seaford.

    More

    Police say an undercover prostitution sting led to the arrests of six men in Seaford, Delaware on Tuesday.

    More
  • Most Popular VideosMost Popular VideosMore>>

  • Ocean City Safety, Median Fence along Ocean City Coastal Highway Underway

    Ocean City Safety, Median Fence along Ocean City Coastal Highway Underway

    Work is underway to keep pedestrians safe along Coastal Highway. 

    Workers used construction machinery to remove landscaping from the media. They're preparing to install a 5-7 foot aluminum fence that will stretch from the convention center to 62nd street.

    Maryland State Highway Administration says their number one goal for this 7 million dollar project is pedestrian safety.

    More

    Work is underway to keep pedestrians safe along Coastal Highway. 

    Workers used construction machinery to remove landscaping from the media. They're preparing to install a 5-7 foot aluminum fence that will stretch from the convention center to 62nd street.

    Maryland State Highway Administration says their number one goal for this 7 million dollar project is pedestrian safety.

    More
  • Milford Family Collecting Donations After Fire Destroys Home

    Milford Family Collecting Donations After Fire Destroys Home

    A Milford family is collecting donations after a fire destroyed their home Tuesday.

    Four generations of Julie Connelly's family lived in the home on South Washington Street in Milford, before a space heater caught fire and caused $100,000 in damage. 

    More

    A Milford family is collecting donations after a fire destroyed their home Tuesday.

    Four generations of Julie Connelly's family lived in the home on South Washington Street in Milford, before a space heater caught fire and caused $100,000 in damage. 

    More
  • Barn Fire at DSU Under Investigation

    Barn Fire at DSU Under Investigation

    A barn in back of the Delaware State University campus in Dover caught fire Thursday night, authorities said.

    According to the Dover Fire Department, the blaze was reported at 7:30 p.m. Thursday. It took firefighters from Dover, Cheswold, Little Creek, and Leipsic Fire Departments nearly two hours to get the two-alarm fire under control. Part of the 50-foot by 100-foot barn collapsed during the fire.

    More

    A barn in back of the Delaware State University campus in Dover caught fire Thursday night, authorities said.

    According to the Dover Fire Department, the blaze was reported at 7:30 p.m. Thursday. It took firefighters from Dover, Cheswold, Little Creek, and Leipsic Fire Departments nearly two hours to get the two-alarm fire under control. Part of the 50-foot by 100-foot barn collapsed during the fire.

    More
Powered by Frankly

All content © Copyright 2000 - 2017 WBOC. All Rights Reserved. For more information on this site, please read our Privacy Policy, and Terms of Service, and Ad Choices