Bills would reduce drug prices and expand contraceptive coverage


AUGUSTA, Maine (AP) — A pair of bills in the Maine Legislature would require state-regulated health care plans to cover all prescription contraceptives while tying prescription drug prices to the lower costs paid in Canada.

Senate Speaker Troy Jackson, D-Allagash, and Sen. Ned Claxton, D-Auburn, discussed the bills Monday, a day before the proposals are due for consideration by the Committee on Health, Insurance and Benefits Coverage. financial services.

The bill to reduce prescription drug prices would tie the prices of some health plans to international benchmark rates set by the Superintendent of Insurance for the 250 most expensive drugs.

“There’s no good reason Americans should pay more for their prescription drugs than our Canadian neighbors,” said Claxton, a family physician.

The other proposal expands the provisions of the Affordable Care Act, which requires insurers to cover at least one birth control product in each birth control category at no cost.

The bill would require coverage of all FDA-approved prescription contraceptive drugs at no cost to patients.

Nicole Clegg of Planned Parenthood New England said there are significant differences between some contraceptives within the same category – and that patients and their doctors, not insurers, should be allowed to choose which is best.

Jackson said the proposals are intended to put patients first and prevent drug companies from profiting from Mainers.

Mainers “shouldn’t have to jump through hoops to get the drugs or products that best meet their health needs, and insurance companies shouldn’t have to dictate which drugs or medical products Maine patients can access, especially for something as simple and important as prescription birth control,” he said.


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