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.
Big Pharma’s greed knows no limits. While people across the country lost their incomes and healthcare over the last year, the CEOs of these corporations amassed hundreds of millions of dollars on the backs of American families thanks to billions in taxpayers funds that they received for treatments and vaccines. The same corporations that are bragging about the vaccine that people are now getting for free are predictably already plotting about how they’ll make us pay to boost profits later, once the pandemic is over.
Secretary Becerra has the skills and experience to help America tackle some of the most pressing issues before us: a raging pandemic, inaccessible healthcare, and sky-high prescription drug prices. We’re glad the Senate has finally approved him so he can get to work for the American people.
In a new letter to Democratic leaders in Congress, Lower Drug Prices Now—a coalition of 60 social, racial, and economic justice organizations representing millions of Americans struggling with high prescription drug prices—urges House Speaker Nancy Pelosi and Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer to pass a strong H.R. 3, the Lower Drug Costs Now Act in order to make prescription drugs more affordable and hold the pharmaceutical industry accountable for price gouging and pandemic profiteering.
This announcement from the Federal Trade Commission is big news, and an important step toward advancing a healthcare system that guarantees every American can afford the medicines they need.