WASHINGTON, D.C. — Health and Human Services Secretary-designate Xavier Becerra reinforced his commitment to swiftly tackle the high price of prescription drugs during his confirmation hearing in front of the Senate HELP committee today. Becerra demonstrated his extensive knowledge and experience taking on our broken drug pricing system, his understanding of tactics for bringing down prices for patients, and the need to spur drug innovation while ensuring taxpayers “get our money’s worth.”
“Today, Xavier Becerra committed to continuing his strong record of taking on Big Pharma and standing with patients against high drug prices,” said David Mitchell, a cancer patient and the founder of Patients For Affordable Drugs Now. “Becerra’s work on drug pricing as attorney general of California and in the House of Representatives demonstrates he has the expertise and experience to achieve comprehensive change to restore balance so Americans get the innovation we need at prices we can afford.”
Watch Becerra here.
“There is unanimity, bipartisan support for tackling the high cost of prescription medication. And I can assure you that that will be one of my priorities, is to deal with it swiftly. I tried to tackle it as the attorney general. I tried to work on that when I was in the House, and I look forward to working with you and members of this body in the future.”
“I think, Senator, we can all agree that the price that we’re paying for some of these prescription drugs is far higher than it should be. All you have to do is travel to another country, whether Canada or another country in the world, to find that we’re paying way more than people in some of these countries are paying. I took on a number of pharmaceutical companies, drug makers, by trying to go behind the curtain of how they reach their pricing. And we were able to prove that there is collusion, at times, going on. There’s a process called “pay-for-delay,” where companies will essentially collude with each other to not have a second company put a generic product on the market to compete with the brand-name product and therefore keeping the price of that brand-name pharmaceutical product high. We were able to succeed in going behind that curtain and trying to undercut that type of antitrust activity.”