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Rutland, Vermont — Yesterday, U.S. Senator Peter Welch (D-VT) and Health and Human Services Secretary Xavier Becerra joined health care advocates in Rutland, Vermont, for a press conference celebrating prescription drug pricing provisions in the Inflation Reduction Act. The historic legislation will slash prescription drug costs for Vermonters and people across the nation by capping drug costs for Medicare beneficiaries and, for the first time in history, allowing Medicare to negotiate lower prices for some of the most popular and expensive medications. Additionally, in January, two key drug pricing provisions took effect: one to cap seniors’ insulin costs at $35 per month and the other to give seniors free access to critical vaccines, including shingles and Tdap. For more on the health care provisions included in the Inflation Reduction Act, please click here.

Event Coverage:

“Already today, there are probably Vermonters who have bought insulin for $35 thanks to the Inflation Reduction Act,” said HHS Secretary Xavier Becerra. “The president said one thing on health care when he was campaigning and he said it again at his inauguration: we’re going to lower costs for more Americans with better benefits — and that’s exactly what he has done.” 

“The cost of prescription drugs, and particularly the cost of insulin, is getting out of reach for citizens of Rutland, Vermont, and the entire country. The United States has the highest prescription drug costs in the world. That’s been true forever, and it’s because the federal government has never been there to advocate for consumers against price gouging,” said U.S. Senator Peter Welch (D-VT). “The Inflation Reduction Act is going to take some pressure off these escalating price increases where our citizens are paying two, three, sometimes four or five times the cost of the same medication that you can get in Europe or in Canada. One of the major provisions in the Inflation Reduction Act is to put a cap on how much Vermonters have to pay for insulin. The legislation also allows, on a rolling basis, the federal government to start negotiating prices so we can get a fair price on behalf of citizens. It also is providing premium relief for those folks who are on the Affordable Care Act. This bill is going to be helpful in making sure families are able to pay their bills at the end of the month.” 

“I can safely say that every single day in my years of practice, I have faced moral distress knowing the correct therapeutics that my patients need to treat their diabetes, but I’m unable to prescribe it to them because they cannot afford it. The same thing happens for vaccines. I can recommend a vaccine, but the patient cannot afford the critical preventative vaccinations that we know will keep them safe,” said Sarah DeSilvey, APRN. “So as part of this wonderful legislation, everything’s now shifted. That is a sea change.”