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  • Caitlin DeLuca

Lawmakers Are Addressing Out-of-Control Prescription Drug Costs

It is no secret that healthcare costs in Maine are skyrocketing, and saddling working families with unmanageable financial burdens. Nearly half of all Mainers find it difficult to afford healthcare, according to a recent survey.

One of the culprits of these difficult healthcare costs is prescription drugs. Many drug companies still practice price gouging. Here in the United States, we pay more than many other countries for our prescription drugs, and a major reason for this is that our biggest drug purchaser is only just beginning to negotiate drug prices. 

The Inflation Reduction Act of 2022 granted Medicare, the largest national purchaser of prescription drugs, the ability to negotiate with pharmaceutical companies on the prices of certain medications. The negotiations have already begun and will take effect by 2026. These medications include:

  • Eliquis

  • Jardiance

  • Xarelto

  • Januvia

  • Farxiga

  • Entresto

  • Enbrel

  • Imbruvica

  • Stelara

  • Fiasp; Fiasp FlexTouch; Fiasp PenFill; NovoLog; NovoLog FlexPen; NovoLog PenFill

LD 1829 would prevent state-regulated health insurers from paying more for these select prescription drugs than what Medicare has negotiated. The price for each of the above medications will be set at the maximum rate that a drug can cost under Medicare, which is determined by the Secretary of the United States Department of Health and Human Services. To ensure that the money these health plans and providers save is put to good use, the bill also requires that those savings must be used to reduce costs to patients. 

Should LD 1829 pass, all Mainers will be able to benefit from Medicare’s price negotiation, ensuring these commonly used and expensive medications will be accessible and affordable for everyone. It will reduce the risk of Mainers having to ration or skip these medications, leading to healthier lives, and decrease the financial burden placed on our families by price-gouging prescription drug companies. We strongly encourage the Legislature to pass this bill.

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