November 19, 2021
Statement from Margarida Jorge, head of Lower Drug Prices Now – the leading campaign fighting to lower prescription drug prices – in response to the House’s passage of the Build Back Better Act:
The House’s passage of the Build Back Better Act is a significant first step toward breaking up Pharma’s monopoly power over prices and making medicines more affordable for millions.
For the first time, drug corporations will be required to negotiate for lower prices for some drugs in Medicare. Also for the first time, there will be caps on what seniors can be forced to pay out-of-pocket for medicines and on the cost of insulin for people with Medicare and private coverage. Drug corporations will face the first-ever penalties for raising the price of prescription medicines faster than the rate of inflation.
Thanks to this bill, seniors, diabetics of all ages, workers, and patients who rely on a small number of high-cost drugs eligible for negotiation will all see lower drug costs. Despite narrow provisions and limits on the number of drugs that are included, Build Back Better establishes a ground-breaking foundation for future action on drug pricing that will expand affordability and hold the drug corporations accountable for boosting their profits at the expense of our health.
After years of promises to lower drug prices, Democrats are finally taking action to deliver by passing Build Back Better in the House. We applaud the work of Speaker Pelosi, Chair Pallone and House Democrats in advancing this bill, particularly the frontline Democrats who fought so persistently for lower drug costs for everyone while facing intense attacks from Pharma lobbyists. We now urge the Senate to pass the House’s Build Back Better Act without delay or more modifications to water down the bill so that Americans can finally get affordable medicines.