House Democrats

Education and Labor Subcommittee Hearing Underscores Dire Need to Lower Prescription Drug Prices

Washington, DC — Today, the Health, Employment, Labor, and Pensions Subcommittee held a hearing on legislation to lower the price of prescription drugs. During the hearing led by subcommittee Chair Mark DeSaulnier (D-CA-11), lawmakers discussed the urgency of passing the Elijah E. Cummings Lower Drug Costs Now Act (H.R. 3), which would give power to Medicare to negotiate with drug companies for lower drug prices for all Americans. Democrats in the hearing made a strong and compelling case for giving Medicare the power to negotiate, and Republicans went to bat for Big Pharma which is enjoying record profits and is breaking records for the money it’s spending on K Street lobbyists to block any legislation to lower prices for patients. In response, Protect Our Care Chair Leslie Dach issued the following statement:

“Today’s hearing once again makes clear Democrats are committed to lowering drug prices for American families while Republicans are hell-bent on protecting drug company profits. Americans pay three times more for drugs as people in other countries, forcing families to choose between lifesaving prescriptions and other necessities like groceries or rent. H.R. 3 will put an end to the rigged system that allows drug companies to raise the price of existing drugs like insulin year after year, and it will help families save thousands on the medications they need. As the country recovers from the COVID-19 economic and health crisis, American families cannot wait. The time to act is now.” 

BACKGROUND:

Democrats’ Drug Pricing Proposal Would Save Taxpayers Nearly $500 Billion Over The Next 10 Years. Analyses from the nonpartisan Congressional Budget Office and the CMS Office of the Actuary the bill confirmed it would reduce negotiated drug prices by as much as 55%– saving patients an estimated $158 billion over the next few years and decreasing deficits by $456 billion. 

H.R. 3 Could Save Patients Thousands Of Dollars On Costly Medications. The Center for American Progress calculated average savings for several drugs that would likely meet the criteria for negotiation under H.R. 3. In addition to achieving thousands of dollars in monthly savings on expensive treatments for conditions like cancer and multiple sclerosis, H.R. 3 would help lower the cost of insulin for some diabetics by more than $700 annually. 

Additional information on rising drug costs can be found here: The Time To Act Is Now: Lower Drug Prices For All Americans