Governor Janet Mills released the following statement in response to an announcement by the Trump Administration today that it is pursuing avenues for the importation of certain drugs into the United States to help lower the prices of prescription drugs:
“The State of Maine has long led the fight to lower the exorbitant prices of prescription drugs, and I am proud of the progress my Administration and the Legislature has made to address this critical issue.
“For far too long, we have had to fight the federal government tooth and nail on the issue of safe importation of quality medication – and often unsuccessfully so – which is why I am glad to see the Administration take a positive step in a new direction today. This morning, I spoke with Secretary of Health and Human Services Alex Azar and told him that the Maine Department of Health and Human Services stands ready to review, shape, and take advantage of the new rule.
“No Maine person should have to choose between their health and other necessities like food, fuel, or housing. With the package of prescription drug reform bills I signed into law last month and with this proposed change in federal policy, we can make progress in ensuring that Maine people have access to affordable medications.”
Last month, Governor Mills signed into law a comprehensive prescription drug reform package that contains a suite of proposals from Senate President Troy Jackson, D-Allagash, Assistant Senate Majority Leader Eloise Vitelli, D-Arrowsic, and Senator Heather Sanborn, D-Portland, to allow the wholesale importation of prescription medicine, to create a prescription drug affordability board, to increase drug price transparency and to better regulate pharmacy benefit managers.