Maryland House Passes Drug Price-Gouging Bill

March 23, 2017

The Maryland House of Delegates approved a bill aimed at banning excessive price increases of generics and off-patent drugs by a 137-4 vote late Monday, advancing the legislation to the Senate floor.

The bill would ban price gouging of essential generic medicines — namely those on a World Health Organization list, including naloxone and epinephrine injections. It would also prohibit price hikes described as “excessive and not justified by the cost of producing the drug” for off-patent treatments that have insufficient market competition.

The measure would also allow the state’s attorney general to sue drugmakers over price gouging. The court would decide whether the increased price is “unconscionable,” and if it affects access to a critical therapy.  Maryland’s current legislative session ends April 10.

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