• Steve Bauck and David Loud

HEALTH CARE

Updated: Oct 27

PSARA Signs On to Letter Supporting Lower Drug Prices

The Ability to Negotiate Drug Prices Must be Part of the Build Back Better Bill

October 20 letter:

Dear Leader Schumer and Speaker Pelosi, We write to you with growing concern over reporting that congressional leadership is considering excluding or significantly weakening drug price ne- gotiation policy in the Build Back Better Act, due to pressure from members of Congress out of step with the needs and demands of the American people. Drug price negotiation has repeatedly polled as one of, and often the most popular single policy in the entire Build Back Better Act and Biden agenda. That extraordinary support holds even after voters are presented with talking points from prescription drug corporations opposing price negotiations, including 95% of Democrats and more than 8-in- 10 adults generally.

We recognize that Medicare drug price negotiation has been a long- standing priority for you both, Leader Schumer and Speaker Pelosi. Yet certain isolated members of Congress would rather leave your promises unfulfilled, prioritizing drug corporations’ ongo- ing ability to price gouge and charge United States consumers 3-4 times prices paid in other wealthy countries for prescription drugs over staying true to commitments and helping patients who are struggling to afford medicines. Some have proposed changes that would render drug price negotiations virtually meaningless, by excluding patented drugs from negotiations and removing the excise tax penalty to enforce drug corporation engagement in negotiations. Patented, brand-name drugs account for most of the spending on prescription drugs in Medicare and in the United States overall. Excluding such drugs from negotiations would purposely ignore the medicines for which drug corporation price gouging is most severe, and patients most deeply harmed by price gouging. Without an aggressive enforcement mechanism to compel drug corporations to engage in direct government price negotiations, in effect the policy would no longer be “negotiation” – it would instead be- come a highly structured process for the United States government to beg.

We stand with you to fulfill your longstanding promises to pass drug price negotiation and bold drug pricing reform, and to finally deliver on years of promises to enact one of the most commonsense and popular measures ever demanded of Congress.





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