Roundtable Takes Place As Senate Considers Drug Pricing Reforms In A New Reconciliation Package

WASHINGTON, D.C. — Colorado patient advocates Gail deVore and Kris Garcia will speak at Senator Michael Bennet’s virtual roundtable today at 3:00 PM MT/5:00 PM ET on the urgent need to lower the price of prescription drugs. This event takes place as the Senate considers the drug pricing reforms already passed by the House of Representatives. 

“Colorado patients are fortunate that Senator Bennet is a champion in the fight to deliver relief to Coloradans and Americans who are struggling to afford their prescription drugs,” 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, ahead of the roundtable. “The drug pricing reforms under consideration by the Senate will help millions of patients by authorizing Medicare to negotiate directly with drug companies, limiting year-to-year price increases, and capping out-of-pocket costs for millions who are on Medicare or are insulin-dependent.”

Kris, a father of three from Denver, lives with bleeding disorders, asthma, and severe allergies and is prescribed many expensive drugs, including EpiPens and Humate-P, which costs $10,000 per vial. “The toll of having a medical condition like this is taxing enough; the financial burden only makes such a situation more stressful,” Kris will say at the roundtable. “The price of these prescriptions has affected many decisions in my life. I had to give up my dream of being a business owner because of how expensive my medications were. … My family and I will keep having to make daily sacrifices in order to make sure I have what I need to survive. … The Senate must pass these measures now to help the millions of patients in the U.S. who struggle to afford their drugs.”

“As someone who has been facing the outrageous price of insulin for decades, I can’t begin to tell you how much real, comprehensive drug pricing reform would mean to me,” Gail, a Denver patient who lives with type 1 diabetes and depends on insulin to survive, will share today. “That’s why I am so grateful that Senator Bennet is fighting to lower drug prices for all patients so we have access to the medications we need at prices we can afford.” 

In his State of the Union address last week, President Biden called on Congress to lower the prices of prescription drugs by passing reforms, including allowing Medicare to negotiate. The drug pricing reforms in the House-passed Build Back Better Act are the most popular element of the package, will deliver relief to patients, and have been endorsed by all 50 Democratic senators. 

Senator Bennet, Gail, and Kris will be joined by other Colorado patients and spokespeople from AARP Colorado and Colorado Consumer Health Initiative at today’s event. Reporters who are interested in attending today’s 3:00 PM MT/5:00 PM ET virtual roundtable should RSVP to [email protected]. Gail, Kris, and P4ADNow staff members are available to speak with press upon request.