WASHINGTON, D.C. — The following statement was issued today by David Mitchell, a cancer patient and the founder of Patients For Affordable Drugs Now, in response to the reintroduction of H.R. 3 The Elijah E. Cummings Lower Drug Costs Now Act:
“H.R. 3 is the comprehensive package of reforms patients need to lower prices of prescription drugs while ensuring continued innovation and new drug development. Too many Americans are struggling to pay almost four times what patients in other wealthy nations pay for the same drugs — forced to choose between spending on bills or food and buying the medications they need. H.R. 3 will provide relief to Americans by allowing Medicare to negotiate directly with drug companies for lower prices and by preventing price gouging.
“On behalf of patients, who overwhelmingly support Medicare negotiation, we are grateful to the leadership and members of the House of Representatives for this critical legislation. This is the reform President Biden and Democrats have promised. This is the time to get it done.”
- The bill would:
- Allow Medicare to negotiate for lower drug prices and extend lower prices to all Americans with public or private sector insurance.
- Limit the negotiated price of drugs in Medicare to no more than 120 percent of the average of six other OECD nations.
- Limit annual out-of-pocket costs for Medicare beneficiaries to no more than $2,000. Currently, seniors can pay more than $15,000 a year for a single prescription drug.
- End drug company price gouging by penalizing drug companies that increase prices in Medicare Parts B and D faster than the rate of inflation.
- Support innovation and new drug development by investing some of the expected savings into the world-class research being conducted at the National Institutes of Health.
- Patients are suffering — skipping doses of their medications and choosing between buying groceries or picking up their medications.
- Americans pay almost four times the prices in other countries for prescription drugs.
- Nearly 40 percent of people reported difficulty affording their medications in the last year.
- Communities of color are disproportionately impacted by high drug prices. Due to economic, political, and social conditions, people of color are almost twice as likely to be uninsured and have lower incomes, making drugs even more unaffordable.
- With Medicare negotiation, patients will pay less for their prescriptions and lives will be saved.
- Right now, more than 1.1 million Medicare patients could die over the next decade because they cannot afford to pay for their prescriptions.
- If Medicare were empowered to directly negotiate prices with drug companies, there could be 94,000 fewer deaths annually.
- Americans overwhelmingly support Medicare negotiation. Nearly 90 percent of voters support Medicare negotiation, including 92 percent of Democrats and 85 percent of Republicans.