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States, eager to lower drug prices, regroup after courts strike down Maryland ‘price-gouging’ law

“We’ll have to find other approaches to this problem,” one state lawmaker said about his drug pricing bill, after the Supreme Court voided a similar Maryland "price gouging" law.
Illinois Rep. Will Guzzardi, a Democrat from Chicago. Source: Seth Perlman/AP

WASHINGTON — A legal setback in Maryland has state legislatures across the country re-examining their efforts to lower drug prices, with lawyers from Nevada to Illinois combing through bills to ensure they can withstand future challenges from pharmaceutical industry groups.

State lawmakers’ interest has centered on a recently voided Maryland law that would have banned generic drug companies from hiking prices to a degree the state deems “unconscionable.” An appeals court ruled the law unconstitutional last year, and though Maryland’s Democratic attorney general had aggressively contested the decision, the Supreme Court announced on Feb. 19 that it would not hear an appeal.

It is a legal reality that has already

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