Today, Representative Susan Wild (PA-07) led a letter with 40 House Democrats addressed to leadership, urging them to take up legislative action as quickly as possible to lower drug prices. She is joined in sending the letter by Representatives Dwight Evans (PA-03), Ritchie Torres, (NY-15), Bobby Rush (IL-01), Andy Kim (NJ-03), John Larson (CT-01), James McGovern (MA-02), Cindy Axne (IA-03), Sharice Davids (KS-03), Colin Allred (TX-32), Tom Malinowski (NJ-07), Chris Pappas (NH-01), Jahana Hayes (CT-05), Matt Cartwright (PA-08), Peter Welch (VT), Katie Porter (CA-45), Connor Lamb (PA-17), Gerald Connolly (VA-11), Marie Newman (IL-03), Jesús "Chuy" Garcia (IL-04), Haley Stevens (MI-11), Angie Craig (MN-02), Karen Bass (CA-37), Diana DeGette (CO-01), Peter DeFazio (OR-04), Lizzie Fletcher (TX-07), Emanuel Cleaver (MO-05), Marcy Kaptur (OH-09), Brendan Boyle (PA-02), Eleanor Holmes Norton (DC), Jake Auchincloss (MA-04), Carolyn Bourdeaux (GA-07), Lucy McBath (GA-06), Susie Lee (NV-03), Kathy Manning (NC-06), Mary Gay Scanlon (PA-05), Kurt Schrader (OR-05), Jamie Raskin (MD-08), Abigail Spanberger (VA-07), and Mark DeSaulnier (CA-11).
The lawmakers wrote, "Only a few months ago, the House passed legislation that puts us on a road towards making real, tangible savings a reality for millions of Americans. Senate Democrats have also proposed legislation to ensure that, for the first time ever, Medicare will be able to negotiate the prices for certain drugs; to stop drug corporations from increasing prices beyond the rate of inflation without penalty; to cap out-of-pocket costs for seniors in Medicare Part D; and to guarantee that no one with insurance pays more than $35 per month for insulin. These are historic and life-saving reforms."
They continued, "President Biden supports this plan. We support this plan. Every Democratic member of the U.S. Senate supports this plan. And most importantly, the American people support this plan. It is time to enact it into law. Already this year, drug corporations have raised prices on more than 400 drugs. Action can't happen soon enough to make medicines affordable for the millions who need them."
This letter comes after weeks of stalled action on the House passed Build Back Better Act, which includes provisions to allow Medicare negotiation for some prescription drugs, while capping the price of insulin at $35 dollars and limiting out of pocket costs for seniors with Medicare Part D. The effort by Wild is supported by key drug cost advocacy groups, AARP, Lower Drug Prices Now, and Patients for Affordable Drugs Now.
"Older Americans are sick and tired of paying drug prices that are three times higher than the rest of the world," said Nancy LeaMond, Executive Vice President and Chief Advocacy & Engagement Officer, AARP. "Letting Medicare negotiate lower drug prices and capping out-of-pocket costs in Part D has broad support with voters from all parties, fights the effects of inflation, and saves money for seniors and taxpayers. The time for action is now."
"Lowering prescription drug prices is one of the most immediate, significant and popular ways we can help families currently struggling with high costs. Democrats' Build Back Better Act would lower costs for seniors, patients who rely on insulin, and people of all ages struggling to afford the medicines they need to stay healthy," said Margarida Jorge, Campaign Director, Lower Drug Prices Now. "We applaud Congresswoman Wild and Democrats for continuing to fight so they can deliver for families and hold Big Pharma accountable for unfair price-gouging. We urge Democratic leaders to provide relief for millions by passing legislation to lower drug prices without delay."
"Congress is on the cusp of finally delivering on its promise to provide relief to the American people from ever rising prescription drug prices," said Sarah Kaminer Bourland, Legislative Director at Patients For Affordable Drugs Now. "The House has done its work by passing the life-saving drug pricing reforms in the Build Back Better Act. It's time for the Senate to finish the job by immediately advancing a reconciliation package that includes these provisions. We are grateful to Congresswoman Wild and the signers of this letter for their continuing leadership to get these reforms over the finish line. Patients cannot afford to wait any longer."