Addressing The Rising Costs of Prescription Medication
Every year thousands of Mainers are forced to cope with the sky-rocketing costs of prescription medication by forgoing the healthcare they need.
Last year alone, nearly one in three Maine adults skipped a dose of their medicine, split their pills in half, or didn't fill a prescription because of the cost. The long-lasting economic impact of the COVID-19 pandemic has done little to alleviate these concerns for many Mainers.
This legislative session lawmakers in Augusta are once again looking to make prescription drugs more affordable for Maine families.
Much to the dismay of the pharmaceutical industry, Senator Ned Claxton has introduced LD 1636, An Act To Reduce Prescription Drug Costs by Using International Pricing. This bill would require a study to see how much Mainers could be saving if we utilized an international reference rate for the 100 most utilized and 100 most costly drugs.
During a February hearing on the proposed legislation, Senator Claxton and Mainers across the state voiced their support for the model bill, which was drafted and supported by the National Academy for State Health Policy’s Center for Drug Pricing.
“LD 1636 is an attempt to decrease the amount of money that the state of Maine and those who are insured by it pay annually for medicines,” Senator Claxton said. “By tying rates to well-established processes in Canada, we could save significant money for both the state and those who are insured by it."
Our lawmakers recognize that older Mainers, middle-to-low-income families, and people living with disabilities are disproportionately affected by the rising costs of prescription medication. Mainers for Working Families applauds Senator Claxton for taking steps to combat the rising costs of prescription drugs in Maine.