Saving Money and Improving Health for Marylanders

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Prince Georgians, we are all concerned about the rising cost of prescription drugs. According to a recent survey, 62% of respondents said they were concerned about prescription drug affordability, and a staggering 45% report that they or a loved one were directly impacted by high-cost drugs. These numbers back up what I see and hear every day in my conversations with Marylanders across our State. Fortunately, relief is on the way for millions of Americans. 

How Maryland is Tackling Prescription Drug Affordability

President Biden’s Inflation Reduction Act (IRA) authorized Medicare to negotiate with drug corporations on prescription drugs. That same law caps the cost of insulin at $35 dollars per month and on January 1, 2025, the IRA will cap annual out-of-pocket prescription costs at $2000 dollars for all Medicare recipients. 

The IRA takes steps forward for healthcare in Maryland, but we can do even more to protect your right to access lifesaving medicine. In fact, we are on the verge of making history through the Maryland Prescription Drug Affordability Board. 

Maryland's Prescription Drug Affordability Board and What It Means for You

Back in 2019, I worked alongside local leaders across the State with the advocacy organization, Maryland Health Care for All, in support of legislation to create a first-in-the-nation board that could create upper payment limits for high-cost drugs. We passed that legislation, but instead of having broad authority, the Prescription Drug Affordability Board could only create upper payment limits on drugs purchased by the State and local governments.

Even though the Prescription Drug Affordability Board was created by law, then-Governor Hogan vetoed legislation that would have funded the Board’s work in 2020. Then, COVID-19 prevented the legislature from overriding Governor Hogan’s veto. One year later when the legislature met for the 2021 session, they fully funded the Board, and a multi-year process of identifying drugs that created an undue burden on Marylanders began.

All along the way, I’ve stood with advocates working to promote prescription drug affordability. I presented to State law makers as early as 2018, recorded advertisements, and urged legislators to give our Prescription Drug Affordability Board everything they need to lower prescription costs. In 2020, I urged the legislature to overturn Governor Hogan’s nonsensical veto of funding for the board. In October of 2023, I urged Governor Moore, Senate President Bill Ferguson, and House Speaker Adrienne Jones to expand the scope of the Prescription Drug Affordability Board so that all Marylanders could benefit. 

From Advocacy to Action: Maryland's Progress in Affordable Healthcare

Now, after years of hard work, the Prescription Drug Affordability Board has selected eight drugs that fit the necessary criteria to be considered unduly cost prohibitive. After final review, Marylanders on state-run health insurance plans will see reductions in the cost of diabetes and weight loss medications like Ozempic, Vyvance, an ADHD medicine, and Dupixent, an asthma medicine. 

We are working hard to expand the Board’s authority so that they can help reduce costs for everyone. Soon, the Prescription Drug Affordability Board’s work will benefit all Marylanders, targeting additional treatments for cost review, and helping to ensure that everyone in our community can afford the treatments they need to thrive. 

I pledge to keep standing with Marylanders on prescription drug costs, and I urge you all to do the same. 


Yours In Service,

Angela Alsobrooks

County Executive

Learn more about the Prescription Drug Affordability Board here

And find out more about the important work of Marylander Health Care for All here