Supreme Court Refuses to Take up Maryland Law on Pharmaceutical Price Gouging

On Tuesday, the Supreme Court of the United States let stand a ruling from the 4th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals . The law was the first of its kind in the nation, although other states have considered similar measures.

The law applied to generic or off-patent drugs manufactured by at least three other firms. It would prevent those companies from imposing a significant price increase without justifying it to the attorney general, who could then ask a judge to order that the price increase not take effect. Violating the law carried a $10,000 fine.

The appeals court held the measure violated the U.S. Constitution by trying to regulate trade outside of Maryland.

This is a blow to consumers and efforts to achieve drug pricing transparency.

Consumer Health First is supporting current legislation efforts to create a Prescription Drug Affordability Board, which would protect State residents and certain stakeholders within the health care system from the high costs of prescription drug products, by requiring certain conflicts of interest to be considered when appointing Board members, and requiring the Board to identify certain prescription drug products with certain costs. It would also establish a Prescription Drug Affordability Stakeholder Council.