WASHINGTON, D.C. — Patients For Affordable Drugs Now launched new ads today calling out Congressman Scott Peters (CA-52) and Congresswoman Kathleen Rice (NY-04) for turning their backs on patients and attempting to block legislation that would allow Medicare to negotiate lower drug prices on behalf of Americans. The ads, which launched after the representatives voted against H.R. 3 in the House Energy and Commerce Committee markup of the reconciliation package, feature multiple sclerosis patient Therese Ball who calls out the members for choosing Big Pharma over patients. Each ad includes a 6-figure spend and will run in CA-52 and NY-04 on cable TV and digital platforms through the week of September 27. 

“Congressman Peters and Congresswoman Rice buckled and turned their backs on patients in this week’s Energy and Commerce markup. We will not stand by while these representatives attempt to block effective Medicare negotiation legislation that would bring relief 90 percent of Americans are demanding,”  said David Mitchell, a patient with incurable blood cancer whose drugs carry a list price of more than $900,000 per year and founder of Patients For Affordable Drugs Now. “The House Ways and Means Committee stood strong with patients and voted to advance H.R. 3 in the reconciliation package. We look forward to the full House and Senate enacting effective Medicare negotiation legislation in the reconciliation package that will ensure patients get the innovation we need at prices we can afford.”

On Wednesday, the House Ways and Means committee reported out the comprehensive provisions of H.R. 3 for inclusion in the $3.5 trillion reconciliation package this year. The Ways and Means Committee vote followed a tie vote in the Energy and Commerce Committee that occurred after three Democrats failed to support the drug pricing provisions. The Ways and Means Committee’s favorable report ensures Medicare negotiation will be incorporated into the reconciliation package that moves to the House floor. 

“The medications I need to live are priced at over $7,000 every month. I can’t afford these prices —I don’t know how anyone can,” multiple sclerosis patient Therese Ball of Ogden Dunes, IN, says in the ads. “It makes me so angry that members of Congress are choosing Big Pharma over patients — it’s unforgivable.”

Watch the ad in CA-52 here.
Watch the ad in NY-04 here.

Rep. Peters touted his support for H.R. 3 in 2019. But after receiving over $239,000 in contributions from the pharmaceutical and health products industry, he flip-flopped to oppose the bill, even threatening to derail his party’s budget bill if it includes the legislation. In his district, 9 out of 10 voters support allowing Medicare to negotiate lower drug prices, and nearly 8 out of 10 voters think drug prices are unreasonable.

“Scott Peters just voted against a bill to let Medicare negotiate lower prices for patients, siding with drug companies so they can keep charging us the highest prices in the world,” the ad in CA-52 says. “Tell Congressman Peters: stop selling us out to drug companies.”

Rep. Rice has supported HR 3 and campaigned on lowering drug prices and taking on Big Pharma, but broke her promise to patients and flipped her position just days before the vote in Energy and Commerce. In her district, 9 out of 10 voters support allowing Medicare to negotiate lower drug prices, and nearly 8 out of 10 voters think drug prices are unreasonable.

“Kathleen Rice promised to take on the drug companies and lower prescription prices — instead, she’s standing with Big Pharma to keep prices high,” says the ad in NY-04. “Tell Congresswoman Rice, put lower prices for patients before drug company profits.”

Simultaneously, Patients For Affordable Drugs Now is running two national adsto combat Big Pharma lies and scare tactics. These ads are part of a 7-figure campaign that includes digital ads that will run across a variety of websites and news outlets and congressional outreach, where patient advocates will contact their members of Congress to demand passage of legislation to allow Medicare to negotiate. P4ADNow’s recent ads can be found here

Patients For Affordable Drugs Now is the only independent national patient organization focused exclusively on policy changes to lower prescription drug prices. It does not accept funding from any organizations that profit from the development or distribution of prescription drugs.