Panel votes towards fines for pharmaceutical value gouging



AUGUSTA, Maine – A legislative committee has voted against a bill to impose fines on generic drug companies dealing with price cuts amid concerns over protracted litigation.

Democrats on the Health Insurance, Insurance and Financial Services Committee disagreed on the inflationary bill despite Maine’s attorney general assuring his office would defend them in court.

The pharmaceutical industry has successfully challenged similar laws passed in other states, the Portland Press Herald reported.

Senate President Troy Jackson said it was worth the legal risk.

“If we as the legislature can’t do something to help our voters, then I don’t want to be in that legislature,” said Jackson, an Allagash Democrat who sponsored one of the price cuts.

Jackson’s bill and a similar bill were rejected on party political lines. Both are forwarded to the entire legislature, which has the opportunity to weigh up.