Seniors, National Leaders Hold Town Hall to Demand Affordable COVID Drugs

Lower Drug Prices Now joined by Congresswoman Debbie Dingell, heads of American Federation of Teachers and Alliance for Retired Americans, and Jon ‘Bowzer’ Bauman to demand No Pandemic Profiteering

Wednesday, April 29, 2020

Washington – Today, the Lower Drug Prices Now coalition co-hosted a telephone town hall to demand access to affordable COVID drugs for seniors and call on Big Pharma not to profiteer off of the coronavirus pandemic. Prescription drug costs have continued to skyrocket in the last decade, forcing many senior Americans to have to choose between medications they need to survive, and other everyday necessities. 

A Gallup poll released yesterday found that two-thirds of Americans have seen the cost of their prescription drugs go up under President Trump, and 1-in-10 Americans say the cost of COVID treatment would keep them from seeking the care they need.

You can listen to the recording of the call here.

“Time and again, we’ve seen drug corporations seize on health crises to gouge patients and inflate profits, using their monopoly control to set prices sky high on the medicines that people so desperately need,” said Margarida Jorge, national director of Lower Drug Prices Now. “We need Congress to ensure that the drugs being developed to treat COVID — which have been funded largely using taxpayer dollars — are affordable to everyone who needs them at low or no cost. An end to drug corporation price-gouging is long-overdue: lawmakers must take action now to stop big Pharma profiteering from a pandemic that has put millions of families at risk.” 

“Too many people in our country were facing an affordability crisis before COVID-19, often having to choose between paying rent, buying groceries, making student loan payments and getting their prescriptions,” said Randi Weingarten, President, American Federation of Teachers. “As the situation becomes more dire, we have to put the needs of people before the profits of drug corporations. A drug can’t work if you can’t afford it. Congressional action to stop prescription drug corporations from jacking up prices is long overdue—but now that we’re in a pandemic, it’s absolutely essential.”

“The current COVID-19 pandemic has highlighted the need, more than ever, to address skyrocketing prescription drug costs,” said Rep. Debbie Dingell (MI-12)  “All of us are making sacrifices right now — families, small businesses, health care and grocery workers. My constituents are not alone in worrying about their health — and the health of their parents and grandparents. That is why we must make sure that the treatments and vaccines needed to fight COVID 19 are affordable.”

“We know that billions of our tax dollars have gone into the research just to address the COVID-19 pandemic,” said Robert Roach, Jr., President, Alliance for Retired Americans. “We must ensure that drug corporations don’t turn that taxpayer-funded research into drugs we cannot afford.”

“The only thing standing between senior Americans and access to lower prescription drug prices is the inaction of our federal government,” said Jon ‘Bowzer’ Bauman, Musician and Senior Advisor to Lower Drug Prices Now. “We need elected officials to stand up and fight back against Big Pharma’s predatory practices that leave too many seniors financially vulnerable and unable to afford the medications their health depends on.”

The tele-town hall was co-sponsored by Lower Drug Prices Now coalition members, the Alliance for Retired Americans, the American Federation of Teachers and the Maine People’s Alliance.

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Lower Drug Prices Now is a national coalition of nearly 60 social, racial and economic justice organizations with members in all fifty states. We are committed to transformative, systemic and bold reforms to ensure everyone has access to affordable medicines — no matter where they live, what they look like or how much money they have. Learn more at www.lowerdrugpricesnow.org and follow us on Twitter @peopleb4pharma.

Thank You for standing with us to put people before Pharma Profits!

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