Washington, DC – Yesterday, Representative Susan Wild, a champion for cutting costs for the people of Pennsylvania’s Seventh District, sent a letter signed by 19 colleagues, calling for Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer and Senate Committee on Finance Chairman Ron Wyden to provide relief for Americans by taking action to lower prescription drug prices through a reconciliation bill. The members urged that the reconciliation bill include capping the cost of insulin at $35 per month and out of pocket costs for seniors in Medicare Part D at $2,000 per year, cracking down on price gouging by drug corporations, and finally giving Medicare the authority to negotiate drug prices will put thousands of dollars back in the pockets of hardworking Americans. The letter has been endorsed by AARP, the Alliance for Retired Americans, the Center for American Progress, Lower Drug Prices NOW, and Patients For Affordable Drugs Now.
“The House has passed all of these initiatives and now the Senate needs to take immediate action to reduce the soaring costs of prescription drugs, inflicting a painful price hike on that is crushing Americans, particularly seniors with set incomes vulnerable to price spikes.” said Rep. Wild. “I am urging that the Senate follows the lead of the House and move quickly to cap insulin prices, out of pocket costs for seniors, and finally give Medicare the authority to negotiate drug prices to the benefit of all Americans.”
“Our constituents are struggling. Gas and grocery prices are up. Inflation concerns are real. Let’s ease those concerns by making life-saving prescriptions more affordable, for everyone. This is even more urgent given that we’ve already seen drug prices increase earlier this year and likely will rise again as part of Big Pharma’s tradition of hiking prices twice per year in both January and July,” the lawmakers wrote in their letter.
The lawmakers continued, “We’ve promised to take on Big Pharma’s price gouging for years. Let’s make good on this promise. We have the votes and, more importantly, we have the backing of the American people – Democrats, Republicans, and independents.”
“Every day, AARP hears from seniors who are forced to choose between paying for the medicines they need and paying for other essentials like food and heat,” said Bill Sweeney, Senior Vice President of Government Affairs, AARP. “That’s just wrong. For years, prescription drug price increases have dwarfed even the highest rates of general inflation. As Congress works to fight inflation, lowering drug prices is the most important and long-overdue policy. Giving Medicare the power to negotiate will save seniors and taxpayers hundreds of billions of dollars. Now is the time to get this done.”
“Americans pay the highest prices in the world for prescription drugs, and Rep. Wild is absolutely right that the Senate must pass legislation now to bring prices down once and for all,” said Richard Fiesta, Executive Director of the Alliance for Retired Americans. “Rep. Wild has been an acknowledged leader in bringing down drug costs from the day she came to Congress. Allowing Medicare to negotiate with pharmaceutical corporations, capping the price of insulin at $35 per month, and limiting out-of-pocket costs to $2,000 for Medicare beneficiaries will make a real difference for American families, and especially for seniors. Overwhelming majorities of Americans across party lines support the proposals passed by the House; it’s past time for the Senate to get on board.”
“For decades, Big Pharma’s greed has caused drug prices to sore faster than inflation,” said Natasha Murphy, Director for Health Policy, Center for American Progress. “No one knows better than frontline members how these cost increases are crushing families. This letter makes clear that Congress can’t miss this unique opportunity to put money back into the pockets of the American people.”
“We applaud Congresswoman Wild and all those who signed this important letter. Pharmaceutical corporations have been gouging Americans for far too long,” said Margarida Jorge, Campaign Director, Lower Drug Prices Now. Congress has a historic opportunity to bring much needed relief to patients and families. There are 50 votes in the Senate and 218 votes in the House to pass legislation to allow Medicare to negotiate and lower the price of prescription drugs for millions at the very moment when inflation is clobbering household incomes. It’s time to call the vote and get this done. We can’t afford to wait any longer.”
“Susan Wild and the 19 Members of the House of Representatives who signed today’s letter are speaking three simple truths: One — Americans overwhelmingly support the historic reforms to lower prescription drug prices passed by the House. Two — the Senate has the votes to pass the package through reconciliation. Three — there is no excuse for failing to get it done,” said David Mitchell, a patient with incurable blood cancer whose drugs carry a list price of more than $900,000 per year and founder of Patients For Affordable Drugs Now. “We are grateful to Susan Wild for her continued, determined leadership in the fight for lower prescription drug prices and to all the signers of the letter for standing with patients.”
The full list of signatories include: Susan Wild; Sharice Davids; Katie Porter; Tom Malinowski; Cynthia Axne; Sanford D. Bishop, Jr.; Marcy Kaptur; Dina Titus; Chris Pappas; Jennifer Wexton; Matt Cartwright; Susie Lee; Daniel T. Kildee; Steven Horsford; Elissa Slotkin; Kathy Manning; Abigail Davis Spanberger; Angie Craig; Jahana Hayes; and Bill Foster.