Statement from Margarida Jorge, campaign director for Lower Drug Prices Now, on the passage of President Biden’s American Rescue Plan:
This legislation passed by the House will have a profound impact on the health and wellbeing of Americans struggling from the COVID pandemic. In particular, it’s a significant step toward holding Big Pharma accountable for pharmaceutical drug price gouging. Action by Congress to rein in Big Pharma is popular, long-overdue and urgently needed. Already this year, drug companies have increased the price of common medicines by 5% — over twice the rate of inflation — even as our nation’s health programs and systems strain from the burdens of COVID.
Because of job and income losses during the pandemic, over 6 million more people have come to rely on Medicaid, the nation’s most efficient public health insurance program, for their healthcare. This legislation helps extend coverage to more people who need it, including new moms who need healthcare after childbirth. Lifting the Medicaid Rebate Cap saves money by holding drug companies accountable for paying back Medicaid when they jack up drug prices to pad their profits and then reinvests that savings in healthcare for more people.
We applaud President Biden and Congressional Democrats for reining in Pharma’s price-gouging in Medicaid and look forward to continued action to lower drug prices for everyone–whether they have Medicaid, Medicare, private insurance or they are uninsured. It’s time to make affordable prescriptions a reality for everyone, no matter where they live, what they look like or how much money they have.