WASHINGTON, D.C. — Lawmakers have a window to make history and lower drug prices, and a new Patients For Affordable Drugs Now campaign will urge Congress and the White House to seize the moment and act now. The multi-million dollar campaign will include TV, digital, and radio ads across the country featuring patients who support proposals in the House and Senate to rein in skyrocketing drug prices. Big Pharma is spending millions to distort, demonize, and relentlessly attack these proposals because the changes could actually break the rigged system that keeps their profits high and patients’ costs skyrocketing.
“Americans are being crushed by high drug prices, and we want to send a message to the White House and Congress: Big Pharma is spreading scare tactics and lies,” said David Mitchell, a cancer patient and the founder of Patients For Affordable Drugs Now. “Legislation to lower drug prices must move now. If lawmakers side with Big Pharma instead of patients, they’ll pay in votes.”
Today’s campaign includes support for the:
- House Drug Pricing Package (H.R. 3): The Lower Drug Costs Now Act of 2019 would let Medicare negotiate directly with drug companies and make negotiated prices available to all Americans — regardless of insurance type. The legislation would also limit drug price spikes to the rate of inflation and cap out-of-pocket costs for seniors in Medicare at $2,000 per year. The House bill shares common ground with the Senate Finance package and the Trump Administration proposal to align the prices of US drugs to prices paid by other wealthy countries.
- Senate Finance Drug Pricing Package (S. 2543): The Prescription Drug Pricing Reduction Act would penalize drug companies for price hikes above inflation and cap out-of-pocket costs for seniors on Medicare at $3,100 per year.
- White House’s International Pricing Index: Under the Administration’s proposal, Medicare would pay only 26 percent more than other wealthy countries for drugs administered by physicians or in hospital settings — that’s compared to the 80% more it pays today. According to polling, voters support the proposal by a 71-point margin (80% support vs. 9% oppose).
As part of the campaign, Patients For Affordable Drugs Now will release television, radio, and digital advertisements that show the toll high prescription drug prices are taking on everyday Americans, offer a suite of tools that encourage Americans to contact their elected officials in support of lowering drug prices, and share stories of patients suffering under prescription drug prices on social media.
The campaign will launch on Thursday with a national cable TV and radio ad. It will expand to local TV, digital, and radio ads in targeted Senate and House districts over the upcoming weeks.
Americans overwhelmingly support action to lower drug prices. Eighty-six percent of Americans — majorities of Democrats, Republicans, and Independents — support allowing Medicare to negotiate. Americans pay twice as much for prescription drugs as other nations, and nearly 1 in 3 adults report not taking their medicines as prescribed due to cost.
Big Pharma is lobbying furiously to protect its profits, but Congress and the White House need to listen to patients.
This campaign comes on the heels of a campaign in August encouraging the Senate to enact the bipartisan Prescription Drug Pricing Reduction Act of 2019. That campaign thanked members for supporting reforms and held accountable those who opposed them.