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WASHINGTON — A legal setback in Maryland has state legislatures across the country re-examining their efforts to lower drug prices, with lawyers from Nevada to Illinois combing through bills to ensure they can withstand future challenges from pharmaceutical industry groups.

State lawmakers’ interest has centered on a recently voided Maryland law that would have banned generic drug companies from hiking prices to a degree the state deems “unconscionable.” An appeals court ruled the law unconstitutional last year, and though Maryland’s Democratic attorney general had aggressively contested the decision, the Supreme Court announced on Feb. 19 that it would not hear an appeal.


It is a legal reality that has already forced some legislators to abandon the strategy Maryland pursued. Policy groups working with legislators are also asking lawyers to recheck their work to ensure their bills are not susceptible to the type of legal challenge that doomed Maryland’s effort. With Congress unlikely to deliver the type of wholesale industry reforms progressives have advocated, lawmakers have made the national conversation about high drug prices a priority in their home states, despite the setback. 

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  • These incremental work arounds are too easlily squashed by the money in big pharma. We need to look at the laws, regulations, and protections they have quitely slipped into our policies over the past 20 years. Protecting corporate interests is more important than public health, as we can see from over 20 years of this. This set back furthers any proof, that we need a Universal Healthcare or Medicare for All. There are too many protections for these price gouging, and criminal corporations. Our lawmakers redefined crime, and these corporations are coddled and protected by our corporate media.

    Here in the US we already pay almost 10 thousand dollars a year, per American, for inadequate healthcare. Because our media relies on these corporation for profit, they are complicit, in not covering the effects. The stories of the people the system is failing, are not told, they are not in the so called news. Many American die before their tiem or can’t afford healthcare. In many states the costs of these prescription medications is costing Medicare and Medicaid a large share of their healthcare dollars. There are no laws about the policy makers taking unlimited amounts of cash from the industry.

    We are seeing the criminals that worked behind the scenes, for over 25 years, now Gas Lighting our Congress. They undermined Medicare to protect corporate profits, eviscerated the ACA, to enrich themselves at the expense of every American! It is not too difficult to see the counter false narrative running in media outlets across America, promoting the broken healthcare system. Nearly every mass media article, normalizes bad healthcare, and does not cover how in parts of America, we are worse off than many third world nations.
    The Anti Vaxx movement was created and weoponized to confuse gullible Americans, to distract from the facts about our healthcare. What we have here is a criminal conspiracy, except that the conspirators are protected.

  • I appreciate the fight to tackle exorbitant US drug costs. But the idea to buy drugs from a neighbour with only 1/10th of the US population is utter selfishness as it shows zero qualms about the disastrous effects on the nation being drained in this scheme.
    Instead, elimination of US HMO’s and PBM’s is worthy of relentless pursuit, to eliminate their rather hefty chunk of the drug cost pie.
    Also, I don’t believe there is an approach pursued on capping profit margins per drug, but this certainly seems worth a shot. It would force full accountability on Big Pharma, with added potential for substantially increased taxation. That could cover Medicare drug costs.
    It is the bigger picture that requires an overhaul, and quick-fixes abusing a neighbour ought to be out of any consideration. The US needs to do the homework that Canada already clearly has done.

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