U.S. Representatives Frank Pallone (D-NJ-06), Tom O’Halleran (D-AZ-01), Darren Soto (D-FL-09), Headlined Events in Arizona, Florida, Georgia, Maine, New Jersey, North Carolina, Ohio, West Virginia

In the last week, Protect Our Care organized nine events nationwide featuring House Energy and Commerce Committee Chairman Frank Pallone (D-NJ-06), U.S. Representatives Tom O’Halleran (D-AZ-01) and Darren Soto (D-FL-09), state and local elected officials, and health care storytellers to emphasize the impact of high prescription drug prices and to call for Congress to take action on this urgent issue. Dr. Al Gross will headline an event in Alaska later today.

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, House Democrats reintroduced this legislation, giving Congress another opportunity to lower prescription drug costs, and meet the demands of voters.

Highlights and coverage from Protect Our Care’s events:

ARIZONA

Thursday, April 29, 2021 — Lower Rx Drug Costs Virtual Event with Rep. Tom Halleran, State Rep. Fernandez, AZ Public Health Association, and Advocates: Congressman Tom O’Halleran, Representative Charlene Fernandez, Arizona Public Health Association Executive Director Will Humble, and Max Fisher, a Tucson Resident and Type 1 Diabetes Patient, joined Protect Our Care Arizona 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 Arizonans and patients across the country. “Skyrocketing costs for prescription drugs have forced Arizona seniors, veterans, and families to make a choice between life-saving medications and putting food on the table,” Congressman O’Halleran said. “There is no reason hard-working Americans should pay three or four times more for their drugs than the same drugs in other countries. That was highlighted by the President in his speech last night.” You can watch the event here.

FLORIDA

Friday, May 7, 2021 — Lower Rx Drug Costs Virtual Event with Rep. Darren Soto, State Rep. Janet Cruz, and Advocates: Rep. Darren Soto (D-FL-09), State Senator Janet Cruz (SD-18), and local advocates joined Protect Our Care Florida for a virtual press conference to call on Congress to take action to lower prescription drug costs for Americans. On the call, legislators and local patient advocates will make the case that for too long the system has been rigged in favor of drug companies, and it’s time to put patients, not profits, first. You can watch the event here.

GEORGIA

Thursday May 6, 2021 — Lower Rx Drug Costs Virtual Event with State Rep. Matthew Wilson and Advocates: State Representative Matthew Wilson and Nedra Fortson, a nurse practitioner,  joined Protect Our Care Georgia 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 Georgians and patients across the country. “We have Georgians that are taking their healthcare into their own hands against the advice of their doctors all because they cannot afford to fill their prescription drugs, said State Representative Matthew Wilson, “Fortunately, we have a common-sense solution sitting right in front of us, H.R. 3, that would allow Medicare to negotiate prescription drug prices. And studies have shown that this is the most effective thing we can do to lower drug prices. It’s an easy fix. But it requires bold leadership.” You can watch the event here.

MAINE

Thursday May 6, 2021 — Lower Rx Drug Costs Press Call with Sen. President Troy Jackson, National Alliance for Mental Health Maine, and Advocates: Maine Senate President Troy Jackson, health care providers and local advocates will join Protect Our Care Maine for a press call to urge 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 Mainers and patients across the country. Senate President Troy Jackson stressed that, “Our elected officials in Congress should be pushing back all the time against the greed of big Pharma.” He went on to say that, “We’ve taken it on here in [the] Maine [legislature]…and the idea is to get these state bills passed and keep coming down on Washington, with more and more states putting these bills in to where they finally are so embarrassed and go ahead and do the right thing.[…] It’s way past time. They are making money hand over fist, the greed of Pharma is uncontrolled and it’s affecting everyday Americans to the point where this is a national crisis.[…] Enough is enough.” You can listen to the call here.

Coverage:

Maine Public Radio: Mainers Pushing for Federal Law That Would Allow Medicare to Negotiate Lower Drug Prices

NEW JERSEY

Tuesday, May 4, 2021 — Lower Rx Drug Costs Virtual Event with Rep. Frank Pallone and Advocates: Congressman Frank Pallone, Jr. (D-NJ-06), Dr. Aakash Shah, an emergency medicine physician, and Gretchen Landenburger, 68, a Medicare patient from Cape May, 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. “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,” said Rep. Pallone, chair of the House Energy and Commerce Committee. “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.” You can watch the event here.

Coverage:
The Hill: Pallone Commits to Using ‘Whatever Vehicle I Can’ to Pass Democrats’ Drug Pricing Bill
Bloomberg Law: Drug Pricing Bill Could Be Added to Infrastructure, Pallone Says
New Jersey Spotlight News: Pallone Pushes Legislation Aimed at Lowering Prescription Drug Prices
Insider NJ: Pallone and Local Health Advocates Call on Congress to Lower Prescription Drug Prices for New Jerseyans
CBS 3 (CBS Philadelphia): NJ Congressman Hosts Virtual Call Calling on Congress to Lower Prescription Drug Prices

NORTH CAROLINA

Friday, May 7, 2021 — Lower Rx Drug Costs Virtual Event with State. Sen. Wiley Nickel, Little Lobbyists, and Advocates: State Senator Wiley Nickel, Little Lobbyists’ Stacy Staggs, and local advocates joined Protect Our Care North Carolina 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. You can watch the event here.

OHIO

Thursday May 6, 2021 — Lower Rx Drug Costs Virtual Event with State Rep. Allison Russo, Insulin for all Ohio, and Advocates: Ohio State Representative Allison Russo, John Kennedy with Insulin for All Ohio, and advocate Lourdes Barroso de Padilla joined Protect Our Care Ohio and For Our Future Ohio for a virtual press conference to call on Congress to take action to lower prescription drug costs for Americans. “I have been a type 1 diabetic going on 30 years now. To me, lowering the cost of prescription drugs, including insulin, is a moral issue,” said John Kennedy of Insulin for All Ohio, who then showed a vial of Insulin and remarked, “25 years ago, I could go into any pharmacy and buy a vial of insulin off the shelf for around 25 dollars. Today, without insurance, it would cost me between 250 and 350 dollars. That’s outrageous. As a result of that cost, one in four type 1 diabetics have had to ration their insulin supply, which leads to a lot of preventable complications and hospitalizations. In many cases, it has led to death. Congress is taking up the issue with HR 3. This bill, no doubt, will save lives.” You can watch the event here.

Coverage:

Statehouse News Bureau: Democrats Urge Congress to Pass Bill They Say Would Lower Drug Price

WTOL (CBS Toledo): Ohio Leaders, Advocates Call on Congress to Take Action to Lower Prescription Drug Costs for All Americans

WEWS (ABC Cleveland): Ohio Leaders and Advocates to Call for Congressional Action to Lower Prescription Drug Prices

WEST VIRGINIA

Thursday May 6, 2021 — Lower Rx Drug Costs Virtual Event with West Virginians for Affordable Healthcare, WV Citizen Action Group, Storytellers, and Advocates: West Virginia health care advocates and storytellers joined Protect Our Care, WV for a virtual press conference calling 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. “So many West Virginians are struggling just to keep a roof over their head and put food on their tables. They shouldn’t have to ration or go without life saving medications because they can’t afford them,” said Rusty Williams. Rusty is Kanawha County cancer survivor who advocates for accessible, affordable healthcare and lower prescription drug prices. You can watch the event here.

Coverage:

WOWK (CBS Huntington): West Virginians Call on Congress to Help Lower Prescription Drug Prices

WVNS (FOX Lewisburg): West Virginians Call on Congress to Help Lower Prescription Drug Prices

Upcoming event:

ALASKA:

Friday, May 7 at 10:00 am AKT, Dr. Al Gross, Joni Bruner, and Casey Kasort will join Protect Our Care Alaska 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. You can register for the event here.