Lawmakers OK measure to fight drug price gouging
Maryland would be the first state to empower the state’s attorney general to take action to stop pharmaceutical price gouging, under a measure given final passage by lawmakers on Monday.
The bill sent to Gov. Larry Hogan would enable the attorney general to bring civil actions against manufacturers of off-patent or generic drugs that make an “unconscionable” price increase — described as an excessive increase unjustified by the cost of producing or distributing the drug.
Manufacturers could face a fine of up to $10,000 per violation. The attorney general would be able to request additional information from the corporations that instituted the price increases to help determine if price gouging has occurred.
The Democrat-led legislature passed the measure with bipartisan support in both houses, more than enough to override a veto by the governor. The vote was 38-7 in the Senate and 137-2 in the House.