“Tell Senator Sinema To Do The Right Thing — Don’t Sell Out Arizonans To Big Pharma”
WASHINGTON, D.C. — Patients For Affordable Drugs Now announced a new ad today in Arizona as part of its campaign to push for inclusion of strong legislation to allow Medicare to negotiate lower drug prices in the Build Back Better Act. The ad comes as efforts to include drug pricing provisions in the reconciliation package have surged in recent days after the president’s framework failed to include such provisions. 

The new ad, which will run on Arizona cable television and digital platforms starting this week, features Tucson patient advocate Brenda Dickason, a small business owner and former police detective and teacher who lives with asthma and severe allergies. In addition to this new ad, Patients For Affordable Drugs Now is continuing to run an ad calling out Senator Sinema and Reps. Peters, Rice, and Schrader for their ongoing efforts to gut and block Medicare negotiation legislation. The campaign also includes grassroots advocacy, in which Arizonans contact Senator Sinema to support passage of legislation to lower drug prices.

“Right now, Senator Kyrsten Sinema is working to weaken a provision to lower the prices of prescription drugs that enjoys support from 90 percent of Americans — Democrats, Republicans, and independents alike,” 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’s gone on long enough. Senator Sinema must support strong Medicare negotiation, or she will be ignoring the will of the people she represents — 9 out of 10 Arizona voters.”

Watch the full ad here

“Senator Sinema, we’re counting on you to keep your promise and allow Medicare to negotiate lower drug prices,” Brenda, a Medicare beneficiary who depends on EpiPens that are priced at $250 for a pack of two, says in the ad. “I devoted my life to serving my community as a police detective and teacher. When it was time to retire, I had to start a small business just to afford my medications. I still can’t afford all of my prescriptions and I can barely keep my business afloat. As Arizonans and Amercians, we deserve better.”

In 2018, Senator Sinema ran on a promise to lower drug prices. She has since received $108,500 from the drug industry in the 2020 election cycle. Sinema’s new federal election filing shows she raised roughly $55,000 in the third quarter of 2021 alone from drug industry executives and political action committees. She has been an obstacle to proposals from the White House and Congress that allow Medicare to negotiate lower prices for the most expensive drugs that patients struggle to afford. The senator reportedly agreed to a drug pricing provision similar to those in a bill designed by Reps. Peters and Schrader that masquerades as drug pricing reform but would actually maintain the status quo and keep prices high. 

“Tell Senator Sinema to do the right thing — don’t sell out Arizonans to Big Pharma,” the new ad concludes. 

This ad comes as momentum has been building over the weekend to ensure that the most popular provision — allowing Medicare to negotiate lower drug prices — is included in the Build Back Better Act. Congressional leaders have been working to agree on meaningful provisions for the package that would lower prices for patients. Democratic members on both sides of the Capitol have been clear that Medicare negotiation must be included in the final package.

All recent P4ADNow ads can be found here.