“Let’s Let Medicare Negotiate The Price Of Prescription Drugs”
WASHINGTON, D.C. — The following statement was issued by David Mitchell, a cancer patient and founder of Patients For Affordable Drugs Now, following the president’s State of the Union address:
“Tonight, President Biden once again called for legislation to lower prescription drug prices, including Medicare negotiation. For two decades, Americans have been targeted by drug companies that established a system that prevents our government from negotiating on our behalf. It is imperative that the Senate pass a package of reforms that will couple copay and out-of-pocket caps with provisions that drive down prices by empowering Medicare to negotiate lower prices and limiting year-to-year price increases to truly lower costs — not just shift them around. Otherwise, Americans will wind up paying more through higher premiums and taxes.
“With inflation at record levels and Americans facing rising costs, Big Pharma’s price gouging forces Americans to pay almost four times what people in other nations pay for the same brand-name drugs. The drug price reforms from the House-passed Build Back Better package allow Medicare to negotiate lower prices, curb Big Pharma’s price gouging, cap out-of-pocket costs, and deliver long overdue relief to millions of Americans. The reforms have the support of all 50 Democratic senators, offering a clear path to passage through reconciliation. The provisions are the most popular element of the original package, and more than 90 percent of voters list drug pricing reform as a top issue for the midterms.
“It is time for the Senate to advance a reconciliation package with these drug price reforms. Americans need help now.”
- The prescription drug pricing reforms in the House-passed Build Back Better Act would:
- Empower Medicare to negotiate lower prices for the most expensive prescription drugs, including insulin.
- Cap annual out-pocket-costs for Medicare beneficiaries at $2,000 in Part D.
- Implement a copay cap of $35 a month on insulin products for people on commercial or government insurance plans.
- Penalize drug companies for price increases that outpace the rate of inflation.
- President Biden has repeatedly stated his commitment to deliver lower drug prices for Americans. In December, the president met with two patient advocates to hear their stories ahead of his speech on drug pricing reforms in his Build Back Better plan.
- The drug pricing reforms in the Build Back Better Act have been endorsed by the entire Democratic caucus. 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.
- Allowing Medicare to negotiate is widely supported by Democrats, Republicans, and independents alike.
- 8 in 10 Americans agree that Medicare should have the power to negotiate with drug companies for lower prices.
- Polls have repeatedly shown that voters believe Medicare negotiation is the top priority in the president’s Build Back Better plan.
- According to a new Morning Consult poll, 9 in 10 voters consider drug prices an important issue leading up to the midterm elections. 3 in 4 voters say that a failure to pass drug pricing reforms will impact their vote.