A government study commissioned by Senator Bernie Sanders has revealed that Americans pay two to four times more on prescription medicine compared to other wealthy countries.
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.
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.
Democrats Pressed on Drug Pricing in Reconciliation: Lower Drug Prices Now—a customer advocacy group fighting high prescription drug prices—urged Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) and Schumer in a letter to pass a stronger version of H.R. 3 “to make prescription drugs more affordable and hold the pharmaceutical industry accountable for price gouging and pandemic profiteering.” Read the letter here.