Chairwoman Stabenow, Chairman Wyden, Senator Klobuchar, AARP CEO Jo Ann Jenkins, P4ADNow Founder David Mitchell, And Patient Advocate Highlight Need For Lower Rx Prices

WASHINGTON, D.C. — As the parliamentarian reviews the drug pricing reforms in the reconciliation package, Senate Democratic Policy and Communications Committee (DPCC) Chairwoman Debbie Stabenow (D-MI), Chairman Ron Wyden (D-OR), and Senator Amy Klobuchar (D-MN) hosted a press conference yesterday highlighting the need to pass the historic provisions. In addition to the senators, the event included remarks supporting the reforms from AARP CEO Jo Ann Jenkins, P4ADNow Founder David Mitchell, and retired law enforcement officer living with Parkinson’s disease, Larry Zarzecki. 

“The legislation now before the Senate will deliver truly historic reforms. Congress must seize this opportunity to help Americans,” 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, said at the event. “Leader Schumer says Senate Democrats are ready to pass the legislation. Speaker Pelosi says the House will support it. The President says he is ready to sign it. The votes are there. It’s time to get it done.”

The legislation will, for the first time, authorize Medicare to negotiate prices directly for some of the most expensive prescription medicines; institute a cap on out-of-pocket drug costs for Medicare beneficiaries; and limit annual price increases to stop price gouging by drug corporations. CBO estimates savings of almost $300 billion to the federal government alone. It is a central feature of the new reconciliation package announced yesterday by Majority Leader Schumer and Senator Manchin.

There is enthusiastic momentum to pass these provisions – all Senate Democrats support them, Majority Leader Schumer said Democrats are excited to advance the popular drug pricing reforms, Senator Klobuchar held a press conference reiterating the enthusiasm, and President Biden is prepared to sign this package when it reaches his desk, bringing relief to millions. 

Watch the full press conference here