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Officials, groups push Prescription Drug Affordability Board in Michigan


FILE - In this June 15, 2018, file photo, pharmaceuticals are seen in North Andover, Mass. The Trump administration is moving ahead with its plan to allow Americans to safely and legally get access to lower-cost prescription drugs from Canada (AP Photo/Elise Amendola, File)
FILE - In this June 15, 2018, file photo, pharmaceuticals are seen in North Andover, Mass. The Trump administration is moving ahead with its plan to allow Americans to safely and legally get access to lower-cost prescription drugs from Canada (AP Photo/Elise Amendola, File)
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Officials and groups announced legislation Thursday to address the rising costs of prescription drugs.

Senators and leaders of groups like AARP introduced the Prescription Drug Affordability Board in Michigan during a virtual news conference May 6, 2021. They said the legislation stemmed from recommendations made by Gov. Gretchen Whitmer’s Prescription Drug Task Force.

“Around the country, states with different types of transparency laws generally find they can access more information about the cost of prescription drugs, however transparency does not directly reduce costs,” said Sen. Winnie Brinks, D-Grand Rapids, minority vice chair of the Senate Health Policy and Human Services Committee. “Establishing a Michigan Prescription Drug Affordability Board can directly reduce costs of prescription drugs for Michiganders, which is why I will be introducing legislation soon establishing this board.”

In 2020, the price for 500 prescription drugs in Michigan doubled the inflation rate, organizers of the news conference said.

“The Michigan Legislature deserves credit for taking an important first step toward making insulin and oral chemotherapy drugs more affordable,” said Melissa Seifert, Associate State Director with AARP. “While transparency creates accountability it is not a substitute to providing real cost relief to Michiganders for all medications.”

Maryland was the first state in the country to adopt a Prescription Drug Affordability Board and now other states are considering similar proposals.

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Those who spoke at Thursday's news conference included Brinks, Seifert; Barry Glassman, County Executive of Harford County, Maryland; Vinny DeMarco, President of the Maryland Citizens' Health Initiative and Dr. Ijeoma Opara, Wayne State University School of Medicine.

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