WASHINGTON, D.C. — Patients For Affordable Drugs Now launched a six-figure ad campaign today across five key House districts — Lou Correa (CA-46), Scott Peters (CA-52), Josh Gottheimer (NJ-05), Stephanie Murphy (FL-07), and Kathleen Rice (NY-04) — urging the passage of strong Medicare negotiation legislation in the Build Back Better Act. The campaign includes TV and digital ads featuring patient advocate Kris Garcia, who lives with multiple bleeding disorders including hemophilia. It also includes grassroots advocacy, in which patients will write and call their members of Congress directly asking them to pass the Build Back Better Act, including legislation to lower drug prices for patients.
“Each infusion of medicine that I need to live costs nearly $40,000. But without it, a minor accident can become a medical crisis for me and a financial crisis for my family,” Kris, a father of three based in Denver, explains in the ads. “For millions of Americans like me, this isn’t about politics — this is about life and death.”
All five members voted for H.R. 3, a comprehensive bill that allows Medicare to negotiate lower prices, in 2019. This year, however, they introduced a rival drug pricing bill that fails to empower negotiation in Medicare Part D, which accounts for 83 percent of Medicare drug spending, excludes most expensive Part B drugs from negotiation, and has a much higher out-of-pocket cap.
Three of the representatives, Peters (CA-52), Murphy (FL-07), and Rice (NY-04), voted against inclusion of identical legislation in committee votes on the Build Back Better Act last month.
Reps. Gottheimer (NJ-05) and Correa (CA-46) have not yet had the opportunity to vote on the legislation this year, but both signed a letter voicing concerns about partisan drug pricing reforms in May. Rep. Gottheimer has criticized the Democrats’ reform efforts and defended the drug industry, and Rep. Correa enjoys a close relationship with pharma-allied groups opposed to negotiation.
“These members of Congress have a clear choice when they vote for the reconciliation package: Stand with patients for real reform that will lower drug prices, or stand with Big Pharma to keep drug prices high,” 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. “It is imperative that Reps. Correa, Peters, Gottheimer, Murphy, and Rice seize this moment and deliver on promises to allow Medicare to negotiate lower drug prices for Americans — instead of supporting a weak and ineffective substitute masquerading as negotiation and designed to protect Big Pharma.”
P4ADNow also launched an ad today in Maine’s second congressional district thanking Rep. Jared Golden for fighting to let Medicare negotiate drug prices and asking him to get the job done by voting for the Build Back Better Act. These ads come on the heels of P4ADNow’s Arizona ad launch and are running simultaneously with two nationalads that combat Big Pharma’s lies and scare tactics. These ads are part of a seven-figure campaign that includes digital ads running across a variety of websites and news outlets and congressional outreach, where patient advocates are contacting their members of Congress to demand passage of legislation to allow Medicare to negotiate. P4ADNow’s recent ads can be found here.
On Capitol Hill, Senate and House leadership along with President Biden are working to craft a reconciliation package that includes legislation to let Medicare negotiate and has the support of all Democratic members of Congress. The current House version of the package includes H.R. 3, a comprehensive bill that allows Medicare to negotiate lower prices, which recently advanced out of the Ways and Means Committee.