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PRESS EVENT: Legislators Begin Push to Expand Maryland Drug Board’s Authority to Help Bring Down Prescription Drug Costs

By January 18, 2024No Comments

Contact: Vincent DeMarco: 410-591-9162 


Campaign is Supported by New Report Detailing How Big Drug Companies Spend More on Stock Buybacks, Dividends, Executive Compensation, and Advertising than Drug Research

Annapolis, MD — Legislative sponsors and advocates will hold a January 18th press conference to kick off the campaign to pass major legislation in 2024 to expand the authority of the Maryland Prescription Drug Affordability Board and continue the work of bringing down high costs for medications. 

The press conference will also highlight key findings in a new report from Public Citizen and Protect Our Care detailing how big drug companies are spending far more on self-enrichment, such as stock buybacks, dividends, executive compensation and advertising than on investments in new prescription drugs. 

The Prescription Drug Affordability Board, created in 2019 as the first of its kind in the country, has worked tirelessly to determine how to bring down the high costs of drugs. The General Assembly charged the Board with developing strategies to aid local and state governments in reducing the cost of providing prescriptions to their employees, a recognition of just how much governments must pay for drug coverage for their employees.

The Board will soon take a major step and announce upper payment limits for certain expensive drugs – which will help bring down drug costs for governments and save taxpayer dollars. Legislation to be introduced in the General Assembly would expand the Board’s authority to develop similar upper payment limits for high-cost drugs for all Marylanders. 

The new report from Public Citizen and Protect Our Care details how big drug companies are more focused on enriching their shareholders and executives than innovation and undercuts the drug industry’s arguments against expanding the PDAB’s authority. The report examined big drug manufacturers’ expenditures and found that they spend far more on dividends, stock buybacks, executive compensation, and advertising than they invest in research.


Delegate Bonnie Cullison, Vice Chair, House Health and Government Operations Committee
Senator Dawn Gile
Senator Brian Feldman, Chair, Senate Education, Energy and the Environment Committee Delegate Jennifer White Holland
Delegate Jheanelle Wilkins, Chair, Legislative Black Caucus of Maryland
Peter Maybarduk, Public Citizen
Vincent DeMarco, President, Maryland Health Care For All! Coalition 

WHAT: Press conference to launch legislation to expand authority of the Maryland Prescription Drug Affordability Board – and to highlight a new report detailing the drug industry’s troubling spending patterns 

WHERE: Media Room, Miller Senate Office Building, 11 Bladen St., Annapolis, MD 21401. The press conference will be live-streamed on

WHEN: Thursday, January 18, 2024, 11 AM ET