Washington, DC — Today, U.S. Senator Ron Wyden (D-OR), U.S. Representative Peter Welch (D-VT-AL), and West Virginia-based patient advocate Mindy Salango joined Protect Our Care to discuss the ongoing efforts to ensure that the final iteration of the Build Back Better Act includes strong measures to bring down prescription drug prices. The event comes as President Biden reiterated his commitment to passing the Build Back Better Act’s health care provisions.
During the call, speakers noted the broad support for giving Medicare the power to negotiate drug prices, limiting insulin prices for diabetics, capping out-of-pocket drug costs for seniors, and limiting outrageous price hikes. All of these policies would dramatically lower costs for working families across the country.
“Today Democrats are closer than ever before to holding Big Pharma accountable for decades of high prices. These high prices have inflicted pain on seniors, families, and taxpayers, and now is the time to do something about it,” said U.S. Senator Ron Wyden (D-OR). “The set of reforms introduced late last year – Medicare negotiation, inflation rebate, insulin copay caps, and an out-of-pocket cap in Medicare – are going to meaningfully lower prices and ease the financial burden of prescription drugs. I am confident that, with the help of everyday Americans raising their voices, there can finally be some relief from high drug prices.”
”No one should ever have to choose between paying for the medication they need and buying groceries for their family. But right now that is all too regular because of Big Pharma’s rip-off prices,” said U.S. Representative Peter Welch (D-VT-AL). “We are the closest we have been to finally getting real prescription drug reform done for millions of Americans. Now is the time to get this across the finish line because lower drug prices is good for all Americans, whether you voted for Biden or Trump.”
“It really doesn’t matter if you’re conservative or liberal, Democrat, independent, or Republican, because people of all stripes are suffering from the greed of the pharmaceutical companies,” said Mindy Salango, patient advocate with diabetes from West Virginia. “I have been diabetic for the past 27 years, and I have seen the cost of insulin in that time skyrocket. I found myself rationing insulin in order to provide a home, bills, and groceries for my daughter. That isn’t a position anyone should be in. Every minute that passes that the Build Back Better Act is not enacted, we’re risking lives.”
“At a time when Americans are worried about inflation and uncertainty about the pandemic, it is critical to deliver meaningful relief. Build Back Better’s provisions to lower drug prices are among the bill’s most consequential measures to lower everyday costs for families,” said Protect Our Care Chair Leslie Dach. “Democrats, Republicans, and independents overwhelmingly support giving Medicare the power to lower drug prices, capping seniors’ out-of pocket costs, limiting insulin costs and cracking down on outrageous price hikes. Support for ending big drug company greed has grown and solidified in the Senate, and we are confident that no matter what form the final Build Back Better Act takes, the bill that goes to the President’s desk will include bold measures to drive down drug prices.”