The U.S. Supreme Court today ruled 6-3 that a controversial Maine program to control prescription drug prices can proceed despite a lower court's injunction in effect since October. Under a law passed in 2000, Maine would act as a pharmacy benefits manager for residents without prescription drug coverage and negotiate price rebates from drugmakers. The law, which never went into effect, authorized price controls if negotiations with drugmakers were insufficient, one of the reasons it prompted an immediate legal attack from the drug industry. At deadline, the Pharmaceutical Research and Manufacturers of America was reviewing the ruling and not prepared to comment, a spokeswoman said. The industry group sued Maine's human services commissioner over the law in 2000. Reps. Tom Allen (D-Maine) and Mike Michaud (D-Maine) issued a written statement calling the court ruling "a significant victory for people in Maine and across the nation who lack prescription drug insurance." A spokesman for Allen acknowledged that further challenges to the law are likely, "but up to this point, the program hasn't even been in effect, so this is huge." -- by Jeff Tieman
Maine can go ahead with drug law, high court says
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