Prescription bill enacted without Maine governor's signature

A bill by Maine Sen. Troy Jackson (D-Allagash) to lower the cost of prescription medicine for older adults and families in the state was enacted into law on July 5 without the governor's signature.

A bill by Maine Sen. Troy Jackson (D-Allagash) to lower the cost of prescription medicine for older adults and families in the state was enacted into law on July 5 without the governor's signature. The new law intends to lower drug costs by forcing brand-name drug producers to follow federal law by providing samples of their drugs to generic producers, so that generic alternatives may be sold when the drug’s patent expires. Jackson says that the increasing cost of prescription drugs is forcing many state residents to choose between medicine and basic necessities. FDA currently requires pharmaceutical producers to make their name-brand drugs available to generic manufacturers when patents expire. However, many analysts claim that large drug companies abuse FDA rules to shield their products from generic competition which could make cheaper copies of the medications. Earlier this year, FDA released a list of drug manufacturers federal officials said were skirting the law in an attempt to shame the companies into compliance. The bill will take effect 90 days following the end of the special legislative session.