WASHINGTON, D.C. — The following statement was issued today by David Mitchell, a cancer patient and founder of Patients For Affordable Drugs Now, in response to the $4 million ad campaign launched by Big Pharma through the American Action Network, attacking Congress’ plan to lower prescription drug prices for Americans:
“Just as Congress is moving to deliver much-needed relief to patients struggling under the burden of high prescription drug prices, Big Pharma has launched a $4 million dark money campaign loaded with lies to attack H.R. 3. The truth is, H.R. 3 ensures we get affordable medicines we need now and innovation for the future. Patients and 88 percent of Americans support Medicare negotiation.
“No surprise: This is straight out of Big Pharma’s playbook — PhRMA CEO Steve Ubl said himself he will be ‘rolling the tanks … to push back against policy proposals adverse to the industry’s interests.’ PhRMA is turning the tanks on the American people.
“Patients are making their voices heard. We’ll step up our efforts to support members of Congress who stand with patients and stand up against Big Pharma.”
- On Thursday, the American Action Network launched a $4 million ad attack on H.R. 3, airing on TV, digital platforms, and phones across 43 House districts.
- The House of Representatives reintroduced H.R. 3, the Elijah E. Cummings 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 directing some of the expected savings to the National Institutes of Health to fund critical research and drug development.
- Congressional leadership and the White House are calling for action:
- In his address to a joint session of Congress, President Bidencommitted to “give Medicare the power to save hundreds of billions of dollars by negotiating lower drug prescription prices,” telling Congress, “Let’s do it now.”
- Following the speech, Speaker Pelosi said, “We’ve been working on this (H.R. 3) for almost a generation. It’s time to do that.” Rep. Pallone, chair of the House Energy and Commerce Committee, said passing the legislation is one of his top priorities. Sen. Wyden, chair of the Senate Finance Committee, said he is looking for every opportunity to include Medicare negotiation in the next legislative package. Majority Leader Schumer said he supports measures to allow Medicare to negotiate drug prices.
- 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.