Maryland will become the first state with a drug affordability review board on July 1, 2019.
In Maryland, HB768, An Act Concerning Health – Prescription Drug Affordability Board, passed the Senate and House of Delegates in April and was allowed to become law without the signature of Governor Lawrence Hogan (R). The law takes effect July 1, 2019, at which time the state will be able to set up the country’s first drug affordability review board.
The board will study prescription costs paid by state and local governments and make policy recommendations. It will focus on drugs with a wholesale acquisition cost (WAC) of $30,000 or more per year or course of treatment; drugs whose WAC increases more than $3,000 in any 12-month period; biosimilars whose WACs at launch are not at least 15% less expensive than their reference drugs; and generics that cost over $100 per month or whose price has increased by 200% or more during the preceding 12-month period. For those drugs that fall into these categories, the board will consider a cost review and report its findings to Maryland's legislative bodies.
The board also has authority granted by the legislature to establish, beginning in 2022, upper price limits on drugs that it determines lead to an “affordability challenge” to any state or local government-funded prescription program.
Legislation that would create prescription drug affordability review boards is under consideration in several other states, including Illinois, Massachusetts, Minnesota, Missouri, New Jersey and Oregon.