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City Health Commissioner endorses Prescription Drug Affordability Initiative

Posted at 6:58 AM, Dec 20, 2017
and last updated 2017-12-20 20:00:34-05

Baltimore City Health Commissioner Dr. Leana Wen endorsed the Prescription Drug Affordability Initiative Wednesday. 

It's a part of the "Maryland Health Care for All" Coalition's new proposal to make prescription medicine more affordable for people in Maryland.

In 2016 drug prices increased nearly 9%, and since 2013, they have grown an average of 10% a year.
Under the affordability initiative the organization wants to eliminate Pharmacy Benefit Manager gag rules that would allow pharmacists to notify customers of cheaper drug options. The organization also wants to create a drug cost review commission for high cost drugs.

"We have a right to information about alternatives that may cost a lot less, but be just as effective. We have a right to transparent and accurate information," said Dr. Wen.

The proposal would also require drug corporations to provide notice of new, expensive drugs or price increases of older drugs--and public justification for their pricing decisions.