WASHINGTON, D.C. — Patients For Affordable Drugs Now today announced the launch of a campaign aimed at members of the House of Representatives who are threatening to block Medicare negotiation bill H.R. 3, calling on them to support the legislation that would lower drug prices for Americans. The new six-figure push begins on July 2 and includes TV ads, digital ads, and grassroots advocacy, in which patients will write and call their members of Congress directly asking them to support plans to allow Medicare to negotiate lower drug prices — a policy supported by 90 percent of Americans. The new campaign will address Reps. David Valadao (CA-21), Scott Peters (CA-52), Richard Hudson (NC-08), and Kurt Schrader (OR-05), all of whom have refused to endorse H.R. 3.
“Reps. Valadao, Peters, Hudson, and Schrader have a choice — they can continue to do the bidding of Big Pharma, or they can stand with patients by supporting Medicare negotiation and H.R. 3,” said David Mitchell, a cancer patient and founder of Patients For Affordable Drugs Now. “Right now, it’s clear that the congressmen are choosing Big Pharma’s interests over the well-being of patients. As Therese Ball, a multiple sclerosis patient, says in the ad, ‘It’s unforgivable.’ Each of these elected officials can still do the right thing by endorsing H.R. 3, which will deliver the innovation we need at prices we can afford.”
All four members of Congress have refused to support H.R. 3, a bill that would allow Medicare to negotiate lower drug prices:
- Rep. Valadao has taken over $100,000 from pharmaceutical manufacturers over his years in Congress and refuses to take any stance on drug pricing policy, including H.R. 3.
- Rep. Peters touted his support for the bill in 2019, but more recently has come out in opposition, even threatening to derail his party’s budget bill if it includes the legislation.
- Rep. Hudson took more money from pharma than any other member of the House of Representatives during the 2020 election cycle, and as a member of the House Energy and Commerce Health Subcommittee, has attacked H.R. 3 repeatedly.
- Rep. Schrader said he was proud of his vote in support of H.R. 3 in 2019, but since then has raised concerns about the bill, even suggesting Congress take a less “robust” approach to drug pricing reform.
The campaign kicks off with ads featuring multiple sclerosis patient and registered nurse Therese Ball from Ogden Dunes, Indiana. To manage her symptoms, Ball is prescribed Tysabri, which is priced at $7,463 each month.
“As a nurse, I had patients who struggled to pay for their prescription drugs. When I was diagnosed with MS, I became one, too. The medications I need to live are priced at over $7,000 a month,” Ball, a grandmother and retired nurse, says in the video ads. “Members of Congress are choosing Big Pharma over patients. It’s unforgivable.”
P4ADNow launched its first campaign directed towards the 117th Congress on May 20. That campaign had a seven-figure budget and called for support of H.R. 3 in 42 House districts across 22 states and in D.C. It expanded this week, adding two more House districts. The campaign is, in part, a counterweight to Big Pharma’s attack ads loaded with lies about H.R. 3 and includes video ads, digital ads, and grassroots advocacy.
H.R. 3, the Elijah E. Cummings Lower Drug Costs Now Act, was reintroducedin the House of Representatives in April. The chamber passed the bill in the 116th Congress. It will lower prices, rein in price gouging, and reduce out-of-pocket costs by restoring balance to the U.S. drug pricing system to ensure both innovation and affordability.