WASHINGTON, D.C. — The following statement was issued by David Mitchell, a cancer patient and founder of Patients For Affordable Drugs Now, following the announcement that Congress will not pass Build Back Better this year:
“We are very disappointed that Congress will not pass reforms to lower drug prices before the end of the year. As Democrats in Congress consider how to move forward on a reconciliation package, however, the provisions painstakingly negotiated to lower drug prices must be maintained.
“The drug price provisions in the current Build Back Better package are the top priority for Americans – overwhelmingly supported by more than 80 percent of voters – Democrats, Republicans, and independents alike. By allowing negotiations, capping price increases at the rate of inflation, and limiting out-of-pocket costs for seniors and people who are insulin-dependent, the historic reforms will make a meaningful difference in the lives of patients and all Americans. These reforms will also protect innovation by maintaining our current system in which drug companies will be able to set prices on new drugs and be rewarded with a period of exclusivity lasting five to 12 years. Further, they will be exempt from negotiations for nine to 13 years.
“Importantly, the drug provisions will fight inflation by holding the line on premiums and health care costs for employers, employees, and taxpayers. These provisions will actually produce a net savings for the government instead of contributing to the deficit.
“Medicare negotiation to lower prescription drug prices passed the House and enjoys the support of all 50 Democratic senators. We hope to work with members in both chambers of Congress to finish the job and pass these landmark reforms swiftly in the new year. We have never been as close as we are now. Failure is not an option.”