Senators, Patients, AARP, P4ADNow, and SPACEs in Action Launch Push At Press Conference 

WASHINGTON, D.C. — Senator Klobuchar, patients, AARP, Patients For Affordable Drugs Now (P4ADNow), and SPACEs in Action launched the “Push For Competition To Lower Drug Prices” with a press conference on Capitol Hill today. To kick off the push, 35 organizations representing patients, consumers, seniors, churches, students, unions and disease advocacy groups sent a letter to the Senate calling for immediate passage of bipartisan bills that crack down on the drug industry’s anti-competitive practices and close regulatory loopholes to promote generic and biosimilar competition to lower drug prices for patients. 

“Right now, drug companies abuse our system through anti-competitive practices that extend monopolies beyond the time intended under law, leaving patients in this country paying more than three times what other wealthy nations pay for the exact same brand name 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. “The Senate has the chance to pass a package of bipartisan bills that will reform and improve our patent and regulatory systems to encourage earlier market entry of more affordable generics and biosimilars. These are common sense, bipartisan solutions that will deliver real relief to patients through lower drug prices. We urge the Senate to act now.”

As part of the kickoff, today P4ADNow also launched new digital ads and an advocacy hub for people to urge their Senators to pass a package that includes bipartisan bills that promote generic and biosimilar competition to lower drug prices. 

This press conference took place following Majority Leader Schumer’s Dear Colleague letter indicating his intention to advance bipartisan bills to lower drug costs during the July work period. The package includes reforms voted out of the Senate HELPJudiciary, and Commerce Committees on a strong bipartisan basis earlier this year.

The following are quotes from the speakers at today’s press conference: 

“Sky-high prices have kept prescription medications out of reach for far too many Americans. By passing legislation to address the anti-competitive tactics that big pharma uses to keep drug prices high, we will enable more competition and innovation in the pharmaceutical market and lower costs for patients,” said Senator Klobuchar. “I’ll keep working to ensure all Americans can get the life-saving medications they need at prices they can afford.” 

“Americans can’t afford to pay more than 3 times what people in other countries pay for the same medicine,” said Nancy LeaMond, AARP Executive Vice President and Chief Advocacy and Engagement Officer. “Generic drugs have proven to be one of the safest and most effective ways to ensure that millions of older Americans can afford the prescription drugs they need. Now is the time for Congress to increase competition and help lower drug prices.” 

“Lowering drug prices will increase the quality of life for many people like me across this country. We are urgently calling on the Senate to immediately advance and pass the bipartisan bills to lower drug prices.” – Arthur Blair, Board Member, SPACES in Action

“Big Pharma is abusing the system and taking advantage of patients by preventing competition for life-saving drugs to protect its bottom line – people like me have no choice but to pay whatever price the companies set…It’s time to put patients’ lives ahead of drug industry profits.” – Jacqueline Garibay, 22-year-old ankylosing spondylitis patient from Austin, TX 

A recording of the event can be viewed here, and photos are available upon request.