WASHINGTON, D.C. — The following statement was issued today by David Mitchell, a cancer patient and founder of Patients For Affordable Drugs Now, commenting on President Biden’s speech to a joint session of Congress:
“Tonight, President Biden reaffirmed his strong support for legislation to lower drug prices through Medicare negotiation. Now, Congress should move quickly to pass H.R. 3 and incorporate it into the American Families Plan to — as the president said — ‘lower prescription drug costs for everyone.’
“The president’s remarks were a call to arms for millions of patients who are struggling under the burden of high drug prices to support congressional leaders to get the bill passed. It is time to stand strong against an industry that says it will be ‘rolling the tanks … to push back against policy proposals adverse to the industry’s interests.’ Congress needs our backing to restore balance so Americans get the innovation we need at prices we can afford. As the president said, ‘Let’s do it now.’”
- In President Biden’s address to a joint session of Congress, he strongly reaffirmed his support for lower drug prices through Medicare negotiation:
- “Let’s do what we talked about for all the years I was down here in this body, in Congress. Let’s give Medicare the power to save hundreds of billions of dollars by negotiating lower drug prescription prices. By the way, it won’t just help people on Medicare – it’ll lower prescription drug costs for everyone. And the money we save, which is billions of dollars, can go to strengthening the Affordable Care Act and expand Medicare coverage benefits without costing taxpayers an additional penny. It’s within our power to do it. Let’s do it now.”
- The president affirmed his support to let Medicare negotiate in the American Families Plan, which states, “President Biden has a plan to … lower prescription drug costs for everyone by letting Medicare negotiate prices.”
- President Biden promised on the campaign trail that he would lower drug prices by allowing Medicare to negotiate.
- Last week, the House of Representatives reintroduced H.R. 3, the Lower Drug Costs Now Act, a bill that 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- Medicare negotiation is very popular — Americans want reform.
- Nearly 90 percent of voters support Medicare negotiation, including 92 percent of Democrats and 85 percent of Republicans.
- More than 60 percent of small business owners believe that Medicare should be able to negotiate for lower prices on behalf of Americans.
- The vast majority of voters agree that addressing high drug prices should be a top priority for President Biden and Congress.