The cost of prescription drugs is skyrocketing out of control, sometimes with terrible consequences for people who depend on those drugs to survive. I hear more and more about people having to choose between basic necessities like food and housing vs. purchasing their prescription drugs. Yet at the same time, drug manufacturers charge Americans much more for their prescriptions than they charge other countries. Drug manufacturers also spend much more on advertising than they do on research and development.

Maryland needs strong leadership to address this critical issue. Thankfully, over 130 candidates for General Assembly have endorsed a proposal to create a Prescription Drug Affordability Board to look at very high-cost drugs and collect data from all along the supply chain to determine fair and affordable rates for Maryland to pay. This includes six candidates in Frederick County: Senate candidates Sen. Ron Young and Jessica Douglass, and House of Delegates candidates Delegate Karen Lewis Young, Delegate Carol Krimm, Darrin Smith, Ysela Bravo and Lois Jarman.

These individuals have shown that they will stand up for their constituents and work to make sure Marylanders have access to the prescription drugs they need. Marylanders deserve nothing less.

Thomas G. Slater

Frederick

(8) comments

DickD

We have insurance requiring us to use CVS and they are the most expensive. Costco is one of the cheapest.

You can also use apps, such as RX that will give you discounts, even at CVS.

sue1955

Thanks for your comments, Dick. Just to point out something, employees and retirees under the Federal Government do not qualify for such discounts. In other words, Federal Government plans are exempt from discount programs as stipulated in the terms and conditions (of said programs). As a side issue, not everybody has a smartphone for use of apps, either.

DickD

If you are paying cash, as you need to, to use the discount coupons, it doesn't matter whom your drug insurance is with. But you do need a smart phone or computer to print out the coupon. Some doctors will print it out for you too.

BunnyLou

The state will pay, comrade.

sue1955

Bunny, please explain what you mean and what the mechanism would be for the state to pay.

sue1955

The state of Maryland has no bearing, though, on what people have to pay for their prescriptions. If one has health insurance (with prescription coverage), the pharmaceutical prices are determined by what said insurance companies' coverage is and with allowable pharmacies under the plan. Formularies come into the picture, also. Commercials on TV that say "if you have trouble paying for your prescription, contact us for help" (or similar wording). However, those programs are meant for people who can prove that they are low-income and have no other coverage. In addition, some insurance plans do not allow special discounts (such as companies advertising for discounts on prescriptions).

A lot of these prescription issues are because companies offer less-than-comprehensive health insurance benefits. For example, they include prescription coverage under the deductible. So; as applicable, if an employer has a deductible of $500.00, the patient has to pay that amount out-of-pocket until that dollar threshold is met. Reduced benefits have created a disastrous situation for all those affected, needless to say.

Dwasserba

When I lost Blue Cross to go on Medicare, my one blood pressure med went from $60 to $200. This happens to you as you go from a salary to a lower fixed income. So I passed, yeah, and I'm trying something more affordable instead of what we know was effective. Hope it is. If anyone saw the recent "O'Connors" episode, it claims Roseanne "died" from seniors sharing prescrptions. Didn't know that happens. The things you still learn even as you age.

sue1955

Appreciate your comments, Dwasserba. Did you "lose" Blue Cross due to conditions of your retirement (i.e., not being able to carry your health insurance into retirement)? If you could have carried your working-years health insurance into retirement as well as getting Medicare, it would probably reduce your prescriptions (depending on formulary and the purpose of the pharmaceuticals you take) to a nominal amount or free. Of course, you would have another monthly bill (or, technically speaking, automatic deduction from your retirement money),

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