CALIFORNIA — Patients For Affordable Drugs Now launched a campaign calling out Reps. Scott Peters (CA-52) and David Valadao (CA-21) for threatening to block Medicare negotiation bill H.R. 3, and calling on them to support the legislation that would lower drug prices for Californians. The patient advocacy group also extended its campaign thanking Reps. Josh Harder (CA-10) and Mike Levin (CA-49) and urging Reps. Tony Cárdenas (CA-29) and Lou Correa (CA-46) to support H.R. 3. The campaigns include 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.
“Reps. Peters and Valadao have a choice — they can continue to do the bidding of Big Pharma, or they can stand with California patients by supporting Medicare negotiation and H.R. 3,” said David Mitchell, a cancer patient and founder of Patients For Affordable Drugs Now. “Instead, they are currently attempting to block legislation that could save the lives of 94,000 Americanseach year. As Therese Ball, a multiple sclerosis patient, says in the ad, ‘It’s unforgivable.’ Reps. Peters and Valadao can still do the right thing and stand up to Big Pharma by endorsing H.R. 3, which will deliver the innovation we need at prices we can afford.”
Reps. Peters and Valadao have both refused to support H.R. 3, a bill that would allow Medicare to negotiate lower drug prices. 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. 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 supported H.R. 3 before receiving over $239,000 in contributions from the pharmaceutical and health products industry. Now he opposes H.R. 3; voters can draw their own conclusions about his motivations,” Mitchell said.
The campaign kicks off with videoads 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. 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.