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As prescription drug costs continue to frazzle Americans, lawmakers in several states are pushing to create commissions that would set prices that health plans, pharmacies, and state programs would pay for medicines, much like the rate-setting bodies that control public utilities.

Over the past year, legislation was introduced in three states — Maryland, New Jersey, and Minnesota — and advocacy groups are seeking legislators to introduce bills in at least two more states — Maine and Oregon — in coming weeks, according to sources familiar with the efforts.

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