On Friday, U.S. Senator Raphael Warnock (D-GA) held a field hearing for the Senate Aging Committee in Georgia on his push to lower prescription drug prices. Skyrocketing drug costs are forcing Georgians and families across the country to forgo basic necessities like groceries or gas in order to access the medications they need to survive. During the hearing, Senator Warnock and speakers called on the Senate to pass critical provisions to lower drug prices for the American people, including limiting insulin costs to $35 per month, capping insulin costs for seniors, and giving Medicare the power to negotiate drug prices. Director of Protect Our Care Georgia, Elizabeth Ernst, shared the story of a Georgia woman who developed anxiety and depression from having to ration her insulin supply due to the increasing price, making clear that lack of access to prescription drugs is costing people more than just their money. The hearing made clear that lawmakers must act now to ensure Americans can afford the prescription drugs they need.
The Atlanta Journal-Constitution: Warnock Focuses Senate Hearing on Curbing Drug Prices. “Elizabeth Ernst, the director of the Protect Our Care Georgia advocacy group, spoke of a woman who rationed drug medication who developed depression and anxiety… To get the mental health treatment she needs costs even more money. The cycle of violence continues all because she couldn’t get her insulin medication. It’s a domino effect.” [The Atlanta Journal-Constitution, 7/1/22]
CBS (Atlanta): Sen. Warnock Chairs Congressional Hearing in Georgia on Lowering Prescription Drug Costs. “Drug makers exploit our broken healthcare system by hiking the prices of lifesaving medications in order to make record-breaking profits,” said Elizabeth Ernst, the state director of Protect our Care Georgia.” [CBS (Atlanta), 7/1/22]
Georgia Recorder: Warnock Pushes Caps on Prescription Costs, Negotiated Medicare Drug Prices. “Liz Ernst, state director for the Georgia chapter of the left-leaning health care advocacy group Protect Our Care, said that the story is sadly all too familiar… ‘Every day, drugmakers exploit our broken health care system by hiking the prices of life saving medicines in order to make record breaking profits,” she said. “Between 2019 and 2020, half of all drugs covered by Medicare Part D had price increases equal to or greater than the rate of inflation. A 2020 congressional report traced the steep price hikes of the cancer drug Revlimid to the desire of executives to ‘meet company revenue targets and shareholder earnings goals.’ In Georgia, (Bristol Myers Squibb’s) Revlimid’s price rose 44% from 2015 to 2020.” [Georgia Recorder, 7/2//22]
Senator Reverend Raphael Warnock (D-GA): “I’m proud to chair this hearing and lead the fight in lowering costs for seniors. We’re looking for real solutions like my Capping Drug Costs for Seniors Act— to shift more of the cost burden on drug manufacturers — saving taxpayer dollars.” [@SenatorWarnock, 7/1/22]
Protect Our Care: “Americans are sick and tired of paying three times the amount that people in other countries pay for the same drugs. Families can no longer afford to wait. The time for fair, affordable drug prices is now.” [@ProtectOurCare, 7/1/22]