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Frosh asks a federal appeals court to rehear case on Md. drug price-gouging law

Maryland Attorney General Brian E. Frosh (D).
Maryland Attorney General Brian E. Frosh (D). (Doug Kapustin/For The Washington Post)

Maryland Attorney General Brian E. Frosh (D) is asking a full federal appeals court to rehear a case filed by drug manufacturers challenging the state’s new drug price-gouging law.

Earlier this month a three-judge panel of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the 4th Circuit said in a 2-to-1 ruling that the 2017 law violates the commerce clause of the Constitution.

Frosh filed the request with the court late Friday.

Maryland is the only state to pass a law giving its attorney general the power to take legal action against drug companies that dramatically increase the prices of off-patent or generic medications. The bill was passed by the General Assembly last year and has been embroiled in a legal challenge ever since.

According to the Association for Accessible Medicines, the national generic-drug trade group that sued Maryland, Illinois and Louisiana are considering legislation modeled after Maryland’s law.

“The resolution of this appeal will substantially affect the responses of state governments to a problem with both fiscal and public health dimensions: the rapidly- rising cost of prescription drugs,” the request from Frosh reads.