Maine Appeals Ruling on Prescription Drug Pricing Law
Maine officials on Nov. 9 appealed a preliminary injunction against the state's new drug pricing law, which would control prescription drug prices for uninsured and underinsured residents, the AP/Los Angeles Times reports. Last month, U.S. District Judge D. Brock Hornby issued the injunction after the Pharmaceutical Research and Manufacturers of America argued that the law was unconstitutional and violated the Interstate Commerce Act (AP/Los Angeles Times, 11/10). Enacted in May, the Maine Rx Program would have allowed the government to negotiate lower medicine prices for Maine residents who lack prescription drug coverage. Drug companies found guilty of overcharging for drugs or restricting supplies would have suffered fines (Kaiser Daily Health Policy Report, 10/27). Maine Attorney General Andrew Ketterer (D) appealed the ruling in the U.S. 1st Circuit Court of Appeals in Boston. Ketterer said, "This case presents complicated legal issues of great importance to the people of Maine. Some of our residents simply cannot afford the drugs they need. We can't just fold our tents" (AP/Los Angeles Times, 11/10). The legal wrangling over Maine's law is being "closely followed" by other states, some of which might pass similar laws if the Maine law is upheld (AP/Washington Post, 11/10).This is part of the KHN Morning Briefing, a summary of health policy coverage from major news organizations. Sign up for an email subscription.