OREGON — In response to yesterday’s reporting that Rep. Kurt Schrader (OR-05) is among a group of Democrats pressuring Congress to weaken or abandon Medicare negotiation provisions in the reconciliation package, the following statement was issued by David Mitchell, a cancer patient and founder of Patients For Affordable Drugs Now:

“Americans are paying almost four times what other nations pay for brand-name drugs. But instead of supporting legislation that would let Medicare negotiate lower drug prices for Americans, Rep. Schrader is pushing a substitute that would exempt the most expensive drugs from negotiation and leave drug companies with the power to continue dictating prices for brand-name drugs. The proposed alternate bill supported by Rep. Schrader is a sellout to Big Pharma that renders Medicare negotiation meaningless and fails to deliver on Democrats’ promise to help patients by lowering drug prices.

“To be clear, effective Medicare negotiation legislation must allow negotiation for all drugs under both Parts B and D as well as drugs still in their period of exclusivity. Rep. Schrader’s proposal is masquerading as Medicare negotiation and would maintain the status quo, leaving patients paying by far the highest prices in the world for their prescription drugs.

“Medicare negotiation is the most popular priority of the Build Back Better plan and 91 percent of voters in Rep. Schrader’s district want Congress to pass Medicare negotiation. If this alternative proposal moves forward, voters will remember that when given the choice, Rep. Schrader chose to carry Big Pharma’s water instead of acting on behalf of his constituents’ needs.”