OREGON — Patients For Affordable Drugs Now announced the launch of a campaign calling out Rep. Kurt Schrader (OR-05) for threatening to block Medicare negotiation bill H.R. 3, and calling on him to support the legislation that would lower drug prices for Americans. The new push began on July 2 and includes TV ads, digital ads, and grassroots advocacy, in which patients will write and call Rep. Schrader directly asking him to support plans to allow Medicare to negotiate lower drug prices.
“Rep. Schrader has a choice — he can continue to do the bidding of Big Pharma, or he 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, Rep. Schrader is attempting to block legislation that could save the lives of 94,000 Americans each year. As Therese Ball, a multiple sclerosis patient, says in the ad, ‘It’s unforgivable.’ But he can still do the right thing by endorsing H.R. 3, which will deliver the innovation we need at prices we can afford.”
Rep. Schrader has refused to support H.R. 3, a bill that would allow Medicare to negotiate lower drug prices, in this Congress. He originally said he was proud of his vote in support of H.R. 3 in 2019, but since then has raised concerns about the legislation, even suggesting Congress take a less “robust”approach to drug pricing reform, contrary to the wishes of 90 percent of Americans.
The campaign kicks off with a new video ad 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.”
“Ninety percent of Americans want Medicare to negotiate lower drug prices, but Rep. Kurt Schrader is working to block it,” the ad says. “Tell him to do the right thing and support the Lower Drug Costs Now Act.”
Watch the video ad here and view the static ad below:
P4ADNow also launched similar ads calling out Reps. David Valadao (CA-21), Scott Peters (CA-52), and Richard Hudson (NC-08), who have also refused to endorse H.R. 3.
P4ADNow launched its first campaign directed towards the 117th Congress on May 20. The national 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 expandedlast 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.