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AARP Maryland Applauds Enactment of Prescription Drug Affordability Board

State Director Hank Greenberg Highlights Role of Volunteers in Legislative Success

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Baltimore,Maryland (PR MediaRelease) July 1, 2019

A new state law becomes effective today to create a Prescription Drug Affordability Board to set maximum costs for certain expensive medications. The board is the first of its kind in the nation and establishes Maryland as a leader in making prescription drugs more affordable.

At a July 1 news conference, state and local officials are joining policymakers and advocates from a variety of statewide organizations to celebrate the new law and discuss how it will lead to benefits for average Marylanders. AARP Maryland State Director Hank Greenberg highlights the decisive role of AARP volunteer advocates and email activists in persuading lawmakers to support the measure:

“This coalition (as remarkable as it is!) and this tremendous achievement would not have succeeded without the commitment, passion and perseverance of our dedicated volunteer advocates. Week after week during the 2019 Legislative Session, they took to the halls of the State House, met with their representatives, explained the issues and made sure they knew where we stand.

“Against tremendous opposition from an army of PhRMA lobbyists, they spent countless hours in Annapolis helping with testimony and sharing their personal stories online, in the media and at committee hearings, in an effort to bring about positive change in Maryland. To our volunteers, members and many, many others who fought alongside us: Thank you!”

“Our volunteers on the ground were supported by thousands of concerned Marylanders across the state, who flooded their representatives and Governor Hogan with calls, faxes and emails in support of the law. They reached out on behalf of our 875,000 members, the 50+ community and their families, and the 81% of Marylanders who said in a Gonzales poll that they want more prescription drug price accountability.

“Their message was loud and clear: We are PEOPLE. Not PROFITS. It’s time to STOP Rx Greed!”

The new board will have the authority, with the approval of the Legislative Policy Committee, to set maximum costs for certain drugs purchased by state and local governments. The measure will help state and local governments reduce expenditures on certain high-cost drugs, freeing up public funds for other
needs, such as education. The new five-member board will also play an important role by recommending action Maryland should take to make drugs more affordable for all Marylanders.

With more than 875,000 members across Maryland AARP is the nation’s largest nonprofit, nonpartisan organization dedicated to empowering people 50 and older to choose how they live as they age. With a nationwide presence and nearly 38 million members, AARP strengthens communities and advocates for what matters most to families: health security, financial stability and personal fulfillment. AARP also produces the nation’s largest circulation publications: AARP The Magazine and AARP Bulletin. To learn more, visit www.aarp.org or follow @AARP and @AARPadvocates on social media.

Tammy Bresnahan
AARP Maryland
Director of Advocacy
410-301-8451
tbresnahan@aarp.org

 
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