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Prescription Drug Affordability Board Selects Executive Director

December 28, 2020 - The Maryland Prescription Drug Affordability Board is proud to announce the selection of Andrew York, Pharm.D., J.D., as its Executive Director. Dr. York, who will formally assume the role on January 20, 2021, will serve as the Board’s first Executive Director.

Dr. York comes to the Board with more than a decade of experience in health policy, including extensive experience in prescription drug pricing reform. Most recently, he worked on prescription drug payment policy and drug pricing reform at the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) and Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS). During his time in the Immediate Office of the Secretary, he served as Advisor to the Secretary, supported the Senior Advisor to the Secretary on Drug Pricing Reform, and was integral to implementing many of the policies outlined in the American Patients First drug pricing blueprint, including the direct to consumer (DTC) advertising rule and the rebate rule. At the CMS Innovation Center (CMMI), Dr. York worked on a portfolio of models related to drug pricing, including serving as a co-lead on the Most Favored Nation (MFN) Model, an innovative model that will test the impact of linking payments for drugs to international prices, and serving on the team that developed the Part D Senior Savings (PDSS) Model, a model that tests the impact of enhanced alternative Part D plan options that offer lower out-of-pocket costs for insulin. Dr. York also served as a professorial lecturer at the George Washington University (GWU) Milken Institute School of Public Health teaching Pharmaceutical Policy and as an adjunct faculty at the University of Maryland Eastern Shore (UMES) School of Pharmacy teaching Pharmacy Law. Dr. York earned his Pharm.D. from the University of Maryland School of Pharmacy and his J.D. from the University of Maryland Francis King Carey School of Law.

“Andrew is a proven leader whose expertise will be invaluable to the Board and its mission. His experience demonstrates his ability to tackle these critical issues facing Marylanders.” said Van T. Mitchell, Chair of the Prescription Drug Affordability Board.

Dr. York’s arrival comes at an exciting time. Over the next year, the Board will continue to perform its vital work protecting Marylanders from rising drug costs. This includes collecting necessary data, forming partnerships with peer states, and analyzing the Maryland prescription drug market. This work will ultimately result in concrete policy recommendations on behalf of Marylanders that the Board will provide to the General Assembly to consider and enact.

The Prescription Drug Affordability Board, created on July 1, 2019, is the first of its kind in the nation. Recognizing that many prescription drugs are increasingly unaffordable for Maryland residents, employers, and State and local governments, the General Assembly created the Board to protect Marylanders from the high costs of prescription drug products. This was achieved with the support of a broad, bipartisan coalition of local leaders, public health advocates, and other stakeholder groups. The first actions for the Board, an independent state agency, will be to study the entire pharmaceutical delivery and payment process, access data for drug pricing and utilization, and develop regulations that will allow it to achieve its goals.

Maryland Creates Nation’s First Drug Affordability Board

December 1, 2020 - "U.S. Reps. Dutch Ruppersberger and John Sarbanes will join the Baltimore City Health Commissioner, PDAB Board Member Dr. Gerard Anderson, and state legislative leaders and advocates in a virtual community forum and listening session about rising drug costs in Baltimore City.

This is the sixth forum in a series of events around the state to hear from the public about the burden of paying for their medications. Registration information can be found at http://healthcareforall.com/news-events/.

July 1, 2020  - On July 1, 2019, Maryland officially became the first state to create a Prescription Drug Affordability Board (PDAB). Recognizing that many prescription drugs have become increasingly unaffordable for Maryland residents, employers, and State and local governments, the Maryland General Assembly advanced the legislation to protect Marylanders from the high costs of prescription drug products. The first actions for the Board, an independent state agency, will be to study the entire pharmaceutical delivery and payment process, access data for drug pricing and utilization, and develop regulations that will allow it to achieve its goals.

What sets the PDAB apart from other state efforts to rein in costs is that it can, if determined to be in the best interest of the state, make a recommendation to the Maryland General Assembly to pursue upper payment limits to make drugs affordable. If the Board makes this determination, it will first develop a plan of action for review and approval by the Legislative Policy Committee.

This review capability would be similar to state regulation of consumer payment rates for other essential services. Maryland has previously demonstrated its capability for rate setting in the health care sector, including through the Health Services Cost Review Commission, which has saved Maryland over $45 billion while still ensuring access to high quality care for Maryland residents.

PDAB Members Participate in Tele-Town Hall Event

June 24, 2020 - Two members of the Maryland Prescription Drug Affordability Board, Dr. Ebere Onukwugha and Van Mitchell, joined Delegate Joseline Peña-Melnyk, Senator Brian Feldman, Tammy Bresnahan (AARP, Associate State Director of Advocacy), and Vinny DeMarco (MCHI, President) in a Tele-Town Hall to discuss issues related to rising drug prices.

Hundreds of individuals called into the town hall discussion to voice their concerns over increasing drug prices, receive an update on the work of the PDAB, and listen to state leaders discuss issues surrounding high drug costs. During the call, more than 60% of respondents asserted that they were “very concerned” about the cost of prescription drugs. The Tele-Town Hall was sponsored by the Maryland Citizens’ Health Initiative and The State Innovation Exchange (SiX), a national resource and strategy center that collaborates with state legislators to improve people’s lives through transformative public policy.

Prescription Drug Affordability Board Holds Third Meeting

June 16, 2020 — The Prescription Drug Affordability Board met for the third time since its inception. Meeting remotely due to the challenges presented by the Coronavirus Disease 2019 (COVID-19) outbreak, the Board provided an update on its important work. This includes the introduction of new staff, updates on the hiring process of additional staff, funding and budget news, and new initiatives on data collection.

More detailed minutes of this meeting will be posted to this website after they are approved by the Board during its next meeting