Maine Gov. John Baldacci, a Democrat, has signed into law the controversial MaineRx prescription drug program that the Supreme Court authorized in May. Under MaineRx, the state will act as a pharmacy benefits manager to negotiate discounts on prescription drugs for some 275,000 uninsured state residents. The program will be funded largely by manufacturer rebates negotiated by the state. In 2000, the Pharmaceutical Research and Manufacturers of America filed suit to block the law from becoming effective. Ultimately, the Supreme Court ruled that Maine's program does not violate federal Medicaid law or interstate commerce rules. The MaineRx law becomes effective in September. The program itself is expected be up and running early next year, according to Baldacci's office. -- by Jeff Tieman
Maine moves forward with prescription drug law
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