AUGUSTA — The Maine Department of Health and Human Services has filed an application with the federal government seeking approval to set up the wholesale prescription drug program outlined in a 2019 law from Senate President Troy Jackson, D-Allagash. The application outlines how Maine would implement this program, meet safety standards and generate significant cost savings for Maine people.
Maine must receive federal approval before moving forward with this program. President Donald J. Trump and his administration have indicated their support of similar programs in other states.
“Access to lifesaving medication shouldn’t cost hardworking Mainers their life savings. With many Mainers experiencing financial hardship and the hope of a new COVID-19 drug on the horizon, we need lower prescription drug prices now more than ever,” said President Jackson. “We know medication across the Canadian border is safe, effective and most importantly a fraction of the price as the same medication in the U.S. I hope the federal government will move quickly so Maine can get this program off the ground. I’m grateful to Maine DHHS for working swiftly to get this plan to the federal government in the midst of responding to a pandemic.”
President Jackson’s measure was signed into law last year along with a suite of prescription drug reform bills. It received unanimous support in the Senate and strong, bipartisan support in the House.
Maine joined Vermont, Florida and Colorado to pass laws regarding wholesale importation. All three of the other states have already submitted plans to the federal government for approval. The FDA issued a proposed rule on December 23, 2019, that outlines how states might achieve approval of a state importation plan.