Statement from Margarida Jorge, head of Lower Drug Prices Now – the leading campaign fighting to lower prescription drug prices – in response to House passage a bill to cap the cost of insulin:
This legislation is a positive step, but it falls far short of the kind of real reform that millions of Americans need for all kinds of health conditions. Although insulin absolutely costs too much, a cost cap won’t stop the drug corporations from raising their prices on this medicine and hundreds of others that people need. The longer Congress fails to address prices the more costs will be shifted to consumers, businesses and patients in the form of higher premiums.
That’s why Congress must pass comprehensive prescription drug reform that includes giving Medicare the power to negotiate lower drug prices—now. That’s the only way to hold drug corporations accountable for price-gouging and to limit their monopoly power to set and keep prices high. The problem is so much bigger than capping insulin copays, and Congress’ response must also be. On average, Americans pay two to four times what people in other developed countries pay for our prescription drugs, with seniors and families bearing the brunt of this discrepancy.
Lowering the drug prices through negotiations and limiting out of pocket costs are policies that are supported by more than 218 House members and all 50 Democratic Senators right now– enough to pass legislation and actually make medicines more affordable for millions.
Our message to Congress is clear, stop talking about meaningful reform and start acting. Half-measures are not enough. Drug prices increased faster than inflation for half of all drugs covered by Medicare in 2020. In 2022, drug corporations have already raised the price on over 800 prescription medicines by more than 5%.
Democrats have been promising negotiations for years. It’s time to deliver. Reconciliation is a once in a generation opportunity to get this done that Democrats must not squander. The votes are there and action is long overdue.