MAINE: Drug Industry Sues To Overturn Drug Pricing Law
Reacting to Maine's "groundbreaking" law that permits the state to negotiate for considerable prescription drug discounts or impose price controls if negotiations fail after three years, the Pharmaceutical Research and Manufacturers of America filed a lawsuit last Thursday to challenge the statute. The AP/Orange County Register reports that PhRMA considers the measure unconstitutional, saying it conflicts with the federal Medicaid program and would regulate transactions outside the state. Marjorie Powell, the industry group's assistant general counsel, said in a statement, "We fully understand the goal of state legislators to ensure affordable prescription medicines for their citizens, but this law is not the right solution." However, Maine Gov. Angus King (I) last Friday expressed his disappointment at the legal contest of the law, which aims to provide lower drug costs to the state's 300,000 residents whose prescription drugs are not covered. "All parties would have been better served if (the industry group) had decided to sit down and talk with us about their concerns on the implementation of this law rather than challenging its legality," he said. The Maine law faced another force of opposition this month when SmithKline Beecham decided to ship its products to out-of-state wholesalers rather than directly to Maine. The law went into effect last Friday (8/12).This is part of the California Healthline Daily Edition, a summary of health policy coverage from major news organizations. Sign up for an email subscription.