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Maine Senate Passes Bills Aimed At Lowering Prescription Drug Prices

The Maine Senate unanimously passed four bills aimed at lowering prescription drug prices on Tuesday.

Sen. Ned Claxton is a Democrat from Auburn and a retired doctor.

“I know there is no magic wand when it comes to reducing drug and health care costs, but I do know Mainers deserve action on drug prices now,” says Claxton.

The bills approach the high costs in different ways. One would set up a way for Mainers to buy lower cost drugs from Canada. Another would protect consumers from unfair practices by pharmacy benefit managers. The third measure would set up a pharmacy board to judge the affordability of drugs and a fourth would set up a wholesale importation process for drugs. The bills face further votes.

Sen. Robert Foley is a Republican from Wells.

“We have seen over the last ten years that the cost of prescription drugs has risen from ten percent to twenty percent of the cost of health care, that is an unacceptable thing to happen for our citizens,” he says.

Journalist Mal Leary spearheads Maine Public's news coverage of politics and government and is based at the State House.