May 31, 2017

Around the nation: Maryland enacts law aimed at curbing generic drug price hikes

Daily Briefing
    • Maryland: The state has enacted a law that bars "unconscionable" increases in generic drug prices and allows the state attorney general to try to roll back certain increases. Gov. Larry Hogan (R) allowed the bill to become law without his signature, a gesture acknowledging his concerns about the bill's effect and legal footing, according to a letter Hogan sent to the speaker of the state House. The Association for Accessible Medicines, a lobbying group for generic drugmakers, has said the bill is unconstitutional (Loftus, Wall Street Journal, 5/26).

    • Oregon: Legacy Health CEO George Brown is stepping down from his post, which he has held since 2008. Under Brown's tenure, Legacy expanded from six to eight hospitals and saw the creation of Health Share of Oregon, the largest coordinated-care collaborative in the state, Modern Healthcare reports. According to Modern Healthcare, Legacy is expected to name a successor by the end of the year (Modern Healthcare, 5/27).

    • South Carolina: Young people are making up a growing share of new hepatitis C cases in the state, according to the state Department of Health and Environmental Control. State data show residents between the ages of 18 and 29 contracted 16 percent of new cases in 2016, up from 6 percent of new cases in 2010. Helmut Albrecht, an infectious disease specialist at the University of South Carolina, told The State that the opioid epidemic is the largest factor in the increase, as injection drug users can spread the disease when they share used needles. According to CDC, new cases of hepatitis C in the United States have almost tripled in the past five years (AP/Sacramento Bee, 5/29).

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