President Biden has been clear in his commitment to lower drug prices. In tomorrow’s State of the Union address, he has the opportunity to once again push for Senate action to pass the comprehensive drug pricing reforms included in the House-passed Build Back Better package. Congress is closer than ever to passing meaningful drug pricing reforms with support from all 50 Democratic senators and the overwhelming majority of voters.
Here is our State of Drug Pricing Reform to demonstrate just how close we are:
1. Congress Is Poised To Act
- The comprehensive drug pricing reforms in the Build Back Better Act that passed out of the House have a clear path forward through reconciliation, with the support of all 50 Democratic senators. These reforms will provide relief to millions of patients by authorizing Medicare to negotiate directly with drug companies, limiting year-to-year price increases, and capping out-of-pocket costs. The drug pricing provisions are the most popular element of BBB with support from voters of all political stripes. Democrats in Congress have both a will and a way to pass the reforms. Key members continue to emphasize that lowering drug prices will address high and rising costs and are encouraging the caucus to move forward with the comprehensive drug price provisions, including Medicare negotiation. This month in Virginia, President Biden called for the reforms alongside frontline Democratic Rep. Spanberger.
- “Patients are counting on President Biden to use the power of his office and the moment of the State of the Union address to move his party to action to finally pass the comprehensive drug pricing reforms in BBB, including Medicare negotiation,” says P4ADNow’s David Mitchell in advance of tomorrow’s SOTU. “Americans are looking to Congress and the president to deliver on this once-in-a-generation opportunity to provide relief to millions who are struggling under the burden of high drug prices.”
2. Big Pharma Exploits A Broken System, But Americans See Through Its Lies and Propaganda
- Congress and the president have the opportunity to take on Big Pharma’s endless greed. In January 2022, pharma hiked the prices of nearly 750 drugs, including 11 of the 15 top-selling products in the United States. Congress can deliver relief to Americans facing rising costs by cracking down on Big Pharma’s price gouging with inflationary price caps and Medicare negotiation. Contrary to pharma’s lies, the drug pricing reforms in the Build Back Better Act would increase patient access to medications while maintaining innovation for new drugs. “Running the numbers on pharma’s claims shows just how light reform’s injury to innovation would be,” according to New York Magazine. “There are indications that public and political patience for these shenanigans is at a breaking point and that pharma’s grip on Washington is beginning to loosen.”
3. Patients Demand Reform
- Patients have been calling on Congress to finish the job and pass the provisions in the Build Back Better Act through letters, phone calls, opinion pieces and interviews with reporters. They represent the more than 40 percent of Americans who reported having difficulty affording their medications in the last year and the estimated 5 million Medicare beneficiaries who struggle to access their medications due to price. Of those Americans struggling to afford their prescriptions, Black and Latino seniors, people with lower incomes, and people with chronic conditions are disproportionately hurt. It’s no surprise that among Democrats, Republicans, and independents alike, voters believe that Medicare negotiation is the top priority in the president’s agenda. “As patients, we don’t have to choose between innovation and lower drug prices,” writes Christina Raymond, a Maine patient living with breast cancer and lupus. “Passing the drug pricing reforms in Build Back Better would increase access to medications by decreasing the prices and deliver relief to millions of patients like me,” explains Travis Paulson, a Minnesota patient living with type 1 diabetes.
Leading up to and following the State of the Union, P4ADNow’s David Mitchell and other patient advocates are available to speak with press about the drug pricing reforms.