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Prescription Drugs

Rx Policy


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Why should Mainers have to pay more than our neighbors for the medicine we need? This fact sheet explores that question.

According to a survey of more than 920 Maine adults, conducted from Oct. 18, 2021 to Oct. 28, 2021, residents are concerned about prescription drug costs and express a strong desire for government-led solutions.

  • Nearly one out of three adults in Maine skipped a dose of medicine, cut pills in half, or didn’t fill a prescription because of the cost in the last year.
  • 9 out of 10 Mainers want the government to prohibit drug companies from charging more for prescription drugs in the U.S. than in other countries.
  • More than half of Maine adults (55%) are worried about affording the cost of prescription drugs.
  • Prescription drug prices in the United States are 218% higher than in Canada.

In 2022 lawmakers will consider bill: LD 1636, An Act To Reduce Prescription Drug Costs by Using International Pricing which intends to address these concerns.

If you or someone you know has had a hard time affording prescription drugs, we’d like to hear from you. Call our Policy Director, Kate Ende, at 207-480-2136 or email her at Together, we can make a difference for all Mainers.

Press Release from the office of Senate President Troy Jackson February 14, 2022
Jackson, Claxton unveil bills to lower prescription drug prices, improve coverage of prescription contraceptives


Governor Mills Signs Into Law Comprehensive Prescription Drug Reform Package

June 24, 2019

Legislation makes prescription medication more affordable and more accessible while holding pharmaceutical companies and corporate middlemen accountable

READ MORE HERE: Governor Mills Signs Into Law Comprehensive Prescription Drug Reform Package

For the archive of how Maine got to this landmark legislation, scroll on….

Maine lawmakers are considering a package of bills aimed at lowering prescription drug prices. The Legislature’s Committee on Health Coverage, Insurance and Financial Services has given bipartisan support to four of the bills.

“When it comes to health care, Maine needs to be fighting for patients over profits. This is especially true when it comes to prescription drugs. Nobody should have to choose between putting food on the table, heating their home or taking their medicine,” Senate President Troy Jackson, a Democrat from Allagash, said in a statement. He sponsored two of the bills.

Read more about these prescription drug bills and how they can help Mainers access the medications and treatments they need in this article the BDN Editorial Board posted on June 4, 2019.

Mainers are concerned about high drug prices – and for good reason. Rx drug prices are rising at 10 times the rate of inflation, faster than in any other industry. Polling conducted at the end of last year showed:

  • Three out of four Mainers are concerned about prescription drug costs.
  • Two thirds are concerned they won’t be able to afford the prescription drugs they need.

CAHC supports several bills that will help address prescription drug affordability, improve accessibility, and establish accountability from manufacturers and pharmacy benefit managers. (click here for recent summary of amended bills):

LD 1162, An Act to Further Expand Drug Price Transparency, sponsored by Senator Eloise Vitelli, will build upon last year’s transparency legislation. That legislation mandated Maine Health Data Organization (MHDO) to produce an annual report of drug pricing information. MHDO’s first report showing the 25 most prescribed, most expensive, and drugs with the highest cost increases was issued in December. The new bill would require drug companies to justify certain increases, including providing information on how much they spend to create a drug, advertise a drug, etc.

  • On April 16, 2019, Legislators heard testimony from 21 groups and individuals. Consumers such as Kate Brogan, the mother of a five-year old diabetic, and Mary Ann Cumming, a breast cancer survivor, shared their stories to call for more information about why prescription drug prices are increasing so rapidly.
  • See our legislative handout on LD1162 for a summary of this bill.

LD 1272, An Act To Increase Access to Low-cost Prescription Drugs, sponsored by Senate President Troy Jackson and Speaker of the House Sara Gideon, would create a state-administered program to safely import a select group of drugs at wholesale prices from Canada.

  • At the public hearing on Wednesday, April 17, 2019, twenty- five organizations and individuals testified on the bill. Consumers, such as Julie Keller Pease, M.D., Sabrina Burbeck, and many others testified as to why this bill, that would require a waiver from the federal government, is so important. It would ensure safety and appropriate tracking of drugs imported from Canada.
  • The Portland Press Herald reminded us that Mainers have sought relief from high drug prices by obtaining less expensive medicine in Canada for more than 20 years: “It was scandalous in those days to hear from people who would cut their pills in half instead of taking the prescribed dose, or choose between filling a prescription and buying food while the drugmakers raked in profits. And it should be scandalous today when we hear the same kinds of stories.” Christina Raymond, whose circumstances were profiled by Bill Nemitz, is just one case on point.

LD 1499, An Act To Establish the Maine Prescription Drug Affordability Board, also sponsored by Senate President Jackson and Speaker Gideon. LD 1499 establishes a Prescription Drug Affordability Board that would develop spending targets for prescription drugs purchased by certain public payors. With input from an advisory council made up of representatives of public entities, the Board would make recommendations for strategies to help public payors meet spending targets and reduce prescription drugs costs for individuals enrolled in plans.

LD 1504, An Act To Protect Consumers from Unfair Practices Related to Pharmacy Benefits Management, sponsored by Senator Heather Sanborn and Representative Denise Tepler, LD 1504 would require greater transparency of Pharmacy Benefits Manager (PBM) practices. The bill would make sure that consumers would benefit from greater transparency when they purchase their drugs and that health insurance carriers would use apply compensation it receives from drug manufacturers or PBMs to reduce premiums.

  • On April 16, 2019, Legislators heard testimony from 13 organizations and individuals.

In a Bangor Daily News Op-Ed, Senate President Troy Jackson laid out the case for greater regulation of the prescription drug industry. “A prescription is more than just a piece of paper,” he wrote. “For some, it’s a pathway to living a better life. For others, it’s a pathway to stay alive. But that piece of paper is worthless if you can’t afford your medication and for too many Mainers the cost of prescription drugs is out of reach.”

Meanwhile, Maryland passed legislation that would create a Drug Affordability Board. This success comes despite the drug industry’s heavy-handed lobbying tactics, including flooding the state capitol with lobbyists and running ads to shift the blame for high drug costs to other industry payers, including insurers.


Access YOUR elected officials, legislative documents, public hearing schedules (including live audio) and more at

Testifying at a hearing?

Most public hearings are held in the Burton M Cross Office Building 111 Sewall Street Augusta, Maine.

  • Free parking is available within walking distance.
  • Get directions and more parking details here.

Find tips for testifying here.

  • If you can not attend in person, testimony can be submitted using the online testimony submission system. Your testimony is then immediately forwarded to the committee members.
  • All testimony is posted to the website with the appropriate bill. DO NOT INCLUDE any information you do not intend to make public, such as account numbers, or other sensitive and private information.

Prescription Drugs Kick Off Event:
Check out the March 12, 2019 press event video below at the Hall of Flags at the Maine State House, where Senate Democrats unveiled proposed legislation to address the high costs of prescription drugs. As many of the speakers shared, Mainers should not have to choose between paying for medication and paying for basic needs.