Health Action New Mexico

English Spanish
Learn more How can I get a coronavirus vaccine? Click here to learn more and get vaccinated against COVID-19

Prescription Drug Affordability Board

The Problem

New Mexicans are struggling to afford the prescription drugs they need, often having to choose between their medication and other necessities, like rent and groceries. Drug costs were out of control before COVID, but it is even worse now. Studies show the pharmaceutical industry has taken advantage of the pandemic to raise prices on 645 brands almost six percent in the first eight months of 2020 [1]. It is critical that the State Legislature take action to help ensure that all New Mexicans have access to affordable medications, because drugs don’t work if people can’t afford them.

[1] AnalySource: Drug Manufacturers Raise Prices for 645 Brands an average price increase of 5.9% in 2020 thus far.

The Solution

New Mexico can create a Prescription Drug Affordability Board, an independent body with the authority to evaluate high cost drugs and set reasonable rates for consumers to pay. The Prescription Drug Affordability Board will look at prescription drugs with costs that greatly impact New Mexicans, including high-cost, brand name medications. High costs can prevent patients from accessing the prescription drugs they need, cause significant affordability issues for the state, and threaten public health. 

How It Works

The Board will consider a broad range of economic factors when setting appropriate payment rates for reviewed drugs, allowing pharmaceutical manufacturers the opportunity to justify existing drug costs. Once a fair payment rate is determined, the Board sets an upper payment limit that applies to all purchasers and payor reimbursements in New Mexico, ensuring that lower costs benefit consumers. You can read more and see the National Academy for State Health Policy model for this legislation here.

Policy Status

Health Action New Mexico is currently working to draft legislation for the 2022 legislative session, and looking for interested parties to support our resolution. If you would like to sign our resolution, you can sign on here, or send an email to

News and Resources

Maryland Lawmakers Try to Rein in Rx Drug Prices

Maryland’s Prescription Drug Affordability Board Bill Set to Take Effect

Maryland's Path to a Prescription Drug Affordability Board

Bills would establish Rx affordability board, bulk purchasing agreements

Summary of the 2019 Prescription Drug Affordability Board Act HB768