In the first three months of the year, the pharmaceutical industry spent $92 million lobbying against efforts to protect people from their profiteering. It’s shameful. The fact is, prescription medicines and COVID vaccines can only work if people have affordable access to them. Clearly, that’s not the priority for Big Pharma players, who are more interested in protecting their monopoly patents than saving lives across the globe.
Today, the Biden Administration made clear that the United States will lead by example in the global fight against COVID. This fight can only be won by working together, not allowing the pharmaceutical corporations to dictate who gets access to COVID vaccines and when.
Action to lower drug prices is the last thing Big Pharma wants from lawmakers. Today’s hearing, which includes testimony from patients and healthcare advocates, represents a key step to enacting long-overdue reforms that would increase transparency, accountability and affordability for patients everywhere.
The Biden Administration and congressional Democrats have a once-in-a-generation opportunity to help the millions of Americans still forced to choose between basic necessities and the prescription medicines they need to live healthy lives. While the American Families Plan includes investments that directly respond to the urgent needs of millions of families, the proposal is incomplete without long-overdue measures to make prescription drugs more affordable for every person, no matter who they are, where they live, or how much money they have in their bank account.
This is just the latest shocking and disgusting example of an industry that puts profits above all else. The actions by Mr. Kramer must be immediately and urgently investigated by the Securities and Exchange Commission.
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.