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Congressman Frank Pallone and Local Health Advocates Call on Congress to Lower Prescription Drug Prices for New Jerseyans

Congressman Frank Pallone (D-NJ-06) and Local Health Advocates Joined Protect Our Care New Jersey for a Virtual Press Conference to Call on Congress to Take Action to Lower Prescription Drug Costs for Americans

NEW JERSEY — Today, Congressman Frank Pallone (D-NJ-06) and local health advocates joined Protect Our Care New Jersey for a virtual press conference to call on Congress to take action to lower prescription drug costs for Americans. For too long the system has been rigged in favor of drug companies, and it’s time to put patients, not profits, first.

Lowering prescription drug costs remains a priority for New Jerseyans and patients across the country. New polling shows that after addressing COVID-19, the top issue for voters is lowering health and drug costs, and 93% support giving Medicare the power to negotiate with drug companies for lower prices.

In 2019, House Democrats passed the Lower Drug Costs Now Act (H.R. 3), bold legislation to give Medicare the power to negotiate for lower drug costs — the single most effective measure to bring down drug prices. In April, Energy and Commerce Committee Chairman Frank Pallone reintroduced this legislation, giving Congress another opportunity to lower prescription drug costs, and meet the demands of voters.

“Americans pay more for prescription drugs than any other country in the world, and as a result too many New Jerseyans do not take their medications because of high costs,” Pallone said. “This legislation will dramatically rein in costs by finally empowering the federal government to negotiate fair prescription drug prices with Big Pharma. It will also decrease consumers’ out-of-pocket costs and reduce Medicare and private health insurance premiums. This historic legislation finally levels the playing field, and I look forward to working with the Biden Administration to pass it into law. I want to thank Protect Our Care and everyone who joined us today for highlighting why it’s so important we get this legislation across the finish line.”

Dr. Aakash Shah is an emergency medicine physician in New Jersey.

“I’ll never forget the day a patient asked whether his diabetes or high blood pressure would harm him more. He could only afford to take medications for one but not both, and wanted my advice to help him decide which. He was just one of many who have had to cut pills and skip doses because of their costs and at the expense of their health,” shared Dr. Shah. “As we look to rebuild and recover from this pandemic, our leaders have the chance to change exactly that – to make medications more affordable – by writing a policy prescription that I know my patients need now more than ever.”  

Gretchen Landenburger, 68, is a Medicare patient from Cape May, New Jersey. She is immunocompromised with chronic bronchitis and takes 10 different medications every day, including breathing treatments that can be very time consuming.

“I have been on Medicare since last year, and it doesn’t cover three of the medications I need most, which used to give me freedom from needing to be home for multiple daily treatments,” said Landenburger. “I now have to pay up to $10,000 per year in medications, not including the nearly $4,000 per month medication I need the most, which I simply cannot afford. Something needs to change, and it is time for Congress to lower prescription drug prices.”

You can watch the press conference here, and learn more about how the Lower Drug Costs Now Act (H.R. 3) will make prescription drugs more affordable here.