WASHINGTON, D.C. — Ahead of his confirmation hearings in the Senate HELP and Finance Committees, Patients For Affordable Drugs Now enthusiastically endorses Xavier Becerra and urges the Senate to confirm him quickly as secretary of Health and Human Services (HHS). As attorney general of California, Becerra took on America’s rigged drug pricing system, leading fights to crack down on drug corporation price gouging, regulate pharmacy benefit managers, and curb anti-competitive tactics by Big Pharma.
Patients For Affordable Drugs Now worked closely with Becerra to pass the first-in-the-nation legislation, California AB 824, which ended abusive pay-for-delay deals that block cheaper generic drugs from coming to market and keep prices high.
“We have seen firsthand Xavier Becerra’s commitment to stand with patients for lower drug prices,” said David Mitchell, a cancer patient and the founder of Patients For Affordable Drugs Now. “As attorney general and a member of the U.S. House of Representatives, Mr. Becerra demonstrated his sophisticated understanding of our broken drug pricing system and the impact it has on patients — especially people of color. We look forward to working with Mr. Becerra to lower drug prices when he takes the reins as secretary of HHS.”
Karen Macedon, a longtime Sacramento resident and waitress who lives with type 2 diabetes and asthma, has firsthand experience with Becerra’s efforts to lower drug prices. She testified in Sacramento in 2019 in support of the Becerra-led AB 824.
“Becerra has a proven track record fighting for patients and I know he will continue that fight as HHS secretary,” said Macedon, who cannot afford her diabetes medication that costs hundreds of dollars each month. “I want to be here for my kids and grandkids, and not worry every day about how I’m going to keep paying for my medications.”
Patients For Affordable Drugs Now looks forward to working with Secretary-designate Becerra to enact lasting drug pricing reform.
MORE ON XAVIER BECERRA’S FIGHT TO LOWER DRUG PRICES:
- As attorney general of California, Xavier Becerra sponsored and helped pass AB 824, which bans collusive pay-for-delay deals and promotes generic drug competition.
- Becerra successfully defended the legislation in court, warding off multiple industry legal challenges.
- Becerra worked with Patients For Affordable Drugs Now to elevatepatient stories in support of the first-in-the-nation legislation.
- 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.