Lower Drug Prices Now — Affordable medicines for all — no matter where you live, what you look like or what’s in your wallet
Whether it’s a sore throat, diabetes or asthma or cancer, we all deserve affordable prescription medicines to feel better when we’re sick. It’s time to stop drug corporations from putting their profits ahead of our families and our health. Together, we can end big Pharma’s price-gouging, and rewrite the rules so everyone can afford the medicines they need to care for themselves and their families.
No matter where people live, what they look like or what’s in their wallets, at some point everyone is going to get sick and need prescription medicines. Whether it’s a sore throat, high blood pressure or cancer, everyone needs affordable medicine to lead healthy lives.
But today, drug corporations and their powerful Pharma lobbyists are standing in the way of our health and economic security. By jacking up prices to boost profits, they are forcing people to make stark choices – like choosing between medicine and other necessities, or going without treatment, or going into debt or watching loved ones suffer without the drugs they need to get better.
It doesn’t have to be this way. Together, we can change the system to make sure everyone gets access to medicines they can afford. We are a coalition that has come together to fight for transformative, bold reforms through legislative, legal and executive actions at the state and federal level based on these four principles:
It is our government’s responsibility to guarantee that everyone in the United States, no matter where they live, what they look like or how much money they have, can afford the medicines they need to stay healthy and take care of their families. We oppose policies that put medicine out of reach for Americans or that deny or delay access to medicine for people in other countries.
Drug corporations and their lobbyists have rigged the rules of the pharmaceutical industry in order to drive up profits, putting medicines out of reach for millions of people. Their price gouging makes health and economic disparities even worse by putting the greatest pressure on the people who can least afford to bear the brunt of high prices. We must topple the barriers that systematically deny people access to medicines so that no one is left behind.
We must curb drug corporations’ power to extract profits at the expense of people’s health by harnessing the government’s power to improve patients’ lives. This requires a range of concrete steps that re-write the rules to rein in drug corporations’ monopoly power to price gouge; that requires the drug industry to negotiate fair prices with government; and that holds corporations accountable for practices that directly and indirectly keep prices unjustifiably high.
We as taxpayers help foot the bill for a substantial amount of drug research, development and innovation, for drug purchasing through Medicare, Medicaid, and the Veterans Administration and for marketing, legal and patent protections for drug corporations. We must ensure government funding and incentives prioritize medical breakthroughs that most serve the public good rather than those that primarily extend monopolies and increase corporate profits. Everyone wants proven treatments and life-saving innovations, but prescription drugs are useless to people who can’t afford them. We must change the system to make sure everyone can benefit from our shared public investment in new drug research and development by ensuring that medicines are affordable and accessible to everyone.
We urge the Biden Administration to fulfill a campaign promise by including legislation to lower prescription prices in the American Family Plan. Lowering the cost of prescription drugs continues to be a leading issue for Americans in poll after poll, particularly in Black and Brown communities and for seniors across the country. Given the economic and health aftermath of COVID, the demand for affordable prescription drugs will only grow over the coming years. Omitting drug pricing reform from a Build Back Better package makes neither policy nor political sense.
Americans pay more for prescription drugs than any other country in the world because the United States government gives drug corporations monopoly control to set and keep prices high, even though most medicines approved by the FDA are developed with taxpayer funding. The industry’s well-paid lobbyists have been successful in maintaining this status quo, leaving Americans with a healthcare system they believe is set up to benefit corporations over them and their families — until now.
For decades, access to prescription drugs has been treated more like a luxury than a public good in the United States, even though taxpayers pay for much of the research that funds the development of these drugs. This legislation, which would start to rein in the drug corporations’ monopoly power, will have an outsized impact on the millions of Americans struggling to afford their medicines every year.