WASHINGTON, D.C. — Patients For Affordable Drugs Now today launched an ad thanking Rep. Lauren Underwood (IL-14) for being a champion in the fight for lower drug prices and for her vote to pass the Build Back Better Act. The ad features a cancer patient named Jackie, whose cancer medication, Revlimid, is priced at over $20,000 every month.
“Millions of people like me are struggling. It’s time for our leaders to lead,” Jackie says in the ad.
The ad responds to Rep. Underwood’s vote in favor of the Build Back Better Act, which passed the House of Representatives on Nov. 19. Rep. Underwood has been a leader in pushing for meaningful drug price reforms to be included in the Build Back Better Act. Following the release of the White House’s Build Back Better framework, which did not include any drug price reforms, she signed a letter calling for the inclusion of reforms as an essential element in the legislation. Earlier this year, Rep. Underwood also signed onto a letter calling on President Biden to include drug pricing in the reconciliation package.
“On behalf of patients, we thank Rep. Underwood for fighting to ensure the inclusion of meaningful drug price reforms in the Build Back Better Act,” 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. “Her steadfast support for the drug price provisions in the Build Back Better Act was a key factor in the House passage of the bill that finally allows Medicare to negotiate lower prices. Ninety percent of voters support Medicare negotiation, and the reforms in Build Back Better will help millions of Americans.”
The ad will run as the Senate moves to take up the Build Back Better Act in December. The Build Back Better Act will, for the first time, authorize Medicare to negotiate prices directly for some of the most expensive prescription medicines, including insulin; institute a hard cap on out-of-pocket drug costs for Medicare beneficiaries; and limit annual price increases to stop price gouging by drug corporations.
“Congresswoman Underwood just voted to pass the Build Back Better Act, which for the first time lets Medicare negotiate lower drug prices for people in Illinois,” the ad running on digital platforms says. “She stood up to Big Pharma attacks and did the right thing for patients. Tell Representative Underwood: Thank you for voting to lower drug prices for millions of Americans.”
Watch the ad here.
Full transcript of the ad below:
JACKIE: This is a four-week supply of my chemotherapy. It’s 20 pills, and it’s $20,000 every single month. Millions of people like me are struggling. It’s time for our leaders to lead.
VO: Congresswoman Underwood just voted to pass the Build Back Better Act, which for the first time lets Medicare negotiate lower drug prices for people in Illinois. She stood up to Big Pharma attacks and did the right thing for patients. Tell Representative Underwood: Thank you for voting to lower drug prices for millions of Americans.
ILLINOIS — Patients For Affordable Drugs Now kicks off a campaign today thanking Rep. Lauren Underwood (IL-14) for supporting H.R. 3, the Elijah E. Cummings Lower Drug Costs Now Act, a package of drug pricing reforms that includes allowing Medicare to negotiate for lower prices for Illinoisans. The campaign includes digital ads as well as grassroots advocacy, in which constituents will contact Rep. Underwood to thank her for fighting for patients. The campaign comes after Big Pharma launched a campaign loaded with lies, pressuring Rep. Underwood not to support H.R. 3.
“Big Pharma is trying to get Rep. Underwood to bow to its power with lies and fear-mongering. But she is standing strong to win reforms that will lower the outrageous prices of prescription drugs,” said David Mitchell, a cancer patient and founder of Patients For Affordable Drugs Now. “Thanks to Rep. Underwood’s leadership, we can pass H.R. 3 to ensure we get affordable medicines we need now and innovation for the future.”
The campaign launches with an ad highlighting patient advocate Marcus LaCour, who lives with type 1 diabetes. The ad will run on digital platforms in Illinois’ fourteenth district.
You can watch the ad here.
“I was diagnosed with type 1 diabetes at 15 years old. Because insulin is so expensive, I’ve had to skip and ration my doses. My wife has had to skip meals so that we could afford the insulin that I needed to survive,” LaCour, a Cincinnati husband, father, minister, and drug affordability advocate says in the video ad. “No family should have to make that decision. For millions of Americans, it’s serious enough that we need help.”
H.R. 3 was recently reintroduced in the House of Representatives. The chamber passed the bill in the 116th Congress. H.R. 3 is a comprehensive bill that will lower prices, rein in price gouging, and reduce out-of-pocket costs by restoring balance to the U.S. drug pricing system to ensure both innovation and affordability.
The Illinois campaign is part of Patients For Affordable Drugs Now’s seven-figure national campaign launching in 42 House districts across 22 states and in D.C.