AUGUSTA — A committee of the Maine Legislature moved the state closer to wholesale importation of prescription drugs from Canada with a vote on Tuesday.

The committee unanimously approved rules from the Maine Department of Health and Human Services. Democratic Senate President Troy Jackson of Allagash said that’s a key step in implementing a new law on drug imports.

The state passed the new law last year, and the state now needs to send the federal government a plan and get approval to set up the program.

The health and human services department is required to submit the application to the feds by May 1.

Vermont, Colorado and Florida have also passed laws about wholesale importation.

Jackson said the change will give Mainers access to medications that are “a fraction of the price across the border.”

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