WASHINGTON, D.C. — The following statement was issued today by David Mitchell, a cancer patient and the founder of Patients For Affordable Drugs Now, on the nomination of California Attorney General Xavier Becerra for U.S. Secretary of Health and Human Services:
“President-elect Biden’s choice of Xavier Becerra for Secretary of HHS is good news for patients and the fight for lower drug prices. We have seen his effectiveness firsthand while working with his office to enact the groundbreaking law AB 824 in California, which curbs anti-competitive pay-for-delay deals that block cheaper generic competition. He has led fights to stop drug company price gouging and to lower prices through greater transparency and regulation of pharmacy benefit managers (PBMs). During his time as attorney general and in the U.S. Congress, Becerra has demonstrated his understanding of America’s rigged drug pricing system and his commitment to achieving reforms to fix it. We support his nomination and look forward to working together in the interests of patients and all Americans.”
- As attorney general of California, Xavier Becerra sponsored and passed into law AB 824, which bans collusive pay-for-delay deals and promotes generic drug competition.
- Becerra has led multiple coalitions of state attorneys general calling for the regulation of pharmacy benefit managers to increase transparency and improve drug affordability.
- In the midst of the COVID-19 pandemic, Becerra urged the federal government to make Gilead’s COVID-19 drug remdesivir more affordable because it was developed using taxpayer funding.
- During his 24 years in the House prior to serving as attorney general, Becerra co-sponsored multiple bills that would allow Medicare to negotiate for lower drug prices.
- As chair of the House Democratic Caucus, Becerra formed a task force “to examine the rising cost of prescription drugs” in 2016.