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Maine’s New Access to Medication Laws Going into Effect This September

September 3, 2019

In June, Maine passed a package of bills focused on making prescriptions drugs more affordable – the law will go into effect in September (90 days after the bill signing). The package of bills creates a prescription drug affordability board, increases drug pricing transparency, and better regulates pharmacy benefit managers. The specific bills supported by the National MS Society include:
  • LD 1504: An Act to Protect Consumers from Unfair Practices Related to Pharmacy Benefit Management
  • LD 1162: An Act to Further Expand Drug Price Transparency
  • LD 1499: An Act to Establish Maine Prescriptions Drug Affordability Board 
MS activists in Maine were involved every step of the way from getting these bills introduced to attending the final bill signing with Governor Janet Mills. The National MS Society thanks the Maine MS activists for helping get these bills across the finish line! 

Maine’s work to address access to medications is a reflection of the Society’s Access to MS Medications Recommendations. The following two recommendations are a reflected in the legislation above:
  • People with MS need more information to make informed choices; and we all need greater information to improve the system.
    • Greater understanding and transparency of the varying prices across the system and internationally
  • Innovation in MS has changed the lives of many people with relapsing MS and innovation must continue to change lives. But people need to be able to get treatments in a timely and affordable way to benefit from them.
    • Limit price increases for medications that have been on the market for a considerable time

About Multiple Sclerosis

Multiple sclerosis is an unpredictable, often disabling disease of the central nervous system that disrupts the flow of information within the brain, and between the brain and body. Symptoms range from numbness and tingling to blindness and paralysis. The progress, severity and specific symptoms of MS in any one person cannot yet be predicted, but advances in research and treatment are leading to better understanding and moving us closer to a world free of MS. Most people with MS are diagnosed between the ages of 20 and 50, with at least two to three times more women than men being diagnosed with the disease. MS affects more than 2.3 million people worldwide.

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