Senate Democratic leader lashes out at Janet Mills over drug bill
AUGUSTA, Maine — One of Maine’s leading progressive legislators lambasted Attorney General Janet Mills on Friday for behind-the-scenes work against his prescription drug bill just days after she declared her run for governor.
That bill from Senate Minority Leader Troy Jackson, D-Allagash, was carried over to next year after the Legislature’s Appropriations Committee decided to not include it last week in a package of bills that it agreed to fund on the Special Appropriations Table.
Jackson’s proposal aims to lower prescription drug costs by making prescription drug manufacturers provide samples of drugs sold in Maine to generic drug manufacturers so generic versions can be produced and sold once patents expire. The bill would also allow the attorney general to seek injunctive relief from violators.
That’s already in federal law, but the U.S. Food and Drug Administration has conceded it’s difficult to enforce, which has delayed availability of generics. Generic drug companies, including Mylan Pharmaceuticals, say Jackson’s bill would save Mainers millions, but brand-name drug companies say delays are for patient safety concerns and that the bill would be inconsistent with federal law.
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