Protect Our Care Urges Senator Sinema to Reverse Course and Support Medicare Negotiation for Lower Drug Prices With Mobile Billboard, Chalk Event & Virtual Press Conference

Arizona Public Health Association’s Will Humble and State Rep. Cesar Chavez Joined Protect Our Care for a Virtual Press Conference Urging Senator Sinema to Do the Right Thing and Bring Down Drug Prices for All Arizonans

Event Followed a Mobile Billboard & Chalk Event Outside of Senator Sinema’s Phoenix Office

Watch the Event Here

Phoenix, AZ — Yesterday, Will Humble of the Arizona Public Health Association and State Rep. Cesar Chavez joined local advocates and Protect Our Care Arizona for a virtual press conference calling on U.S. Senator Kyrsten Sinema (D-AZ) to stand up to Big Pharma and bring relief to Arizona’s seniors and families who struggle to afford their medications. This week, Senator Sinema indicated she may not support giving Medicare the power to negotiate for lower drug prices in upcoming budget legislation, but she has a chance to do the right thing when the final bill goes to the Senate floor. Nine out of 10 Arizona voters support allowing Medicare to negotiate for lower drug prices, and nearly eight out of 10 think drug prices are unreasonable. 

The event came after Protect Our Care joined local residents on Tuesday to urge Senator Sinema to do the right thing and support legislation to bring down drug prices with a mobile billboard and chalk art outside of her Phoenix office. 

“It’s so important that we have the ability to provide low cost prescription medication to these individuals who depend on an everyday dosage,” said State Rep. Cesar Chavez. “In the state of Arizona we have some of the largest populations of individuals who depend on prescriptions on a daily basis. We are at a crossroads right now where Senator Sinema can definitely vote to lower prescription drug prices and reform a system that has been broken for far too long.”

“The effects of the high cost of medications are felt acutely here in Arizona, where over $9 billion was spent in 2019 alone on prescription drugs and over 2 million Arizonans reported they didn’t seek treatment for a health problem due to the cost,’ said Arizona Public Health Association’s Will Humble. “The bottom line is that the American people are getting ripped off.”

Iesha Meza, a young Arizonan and type 1 diabetic, told her story of struggling to afford her prescriptions: “I was forced to ration my supply of insulin –– a drug that is as vital to me as water –– just to keep myself alive. I stopped taking insulin when eating meals, and eventually stopped taking it altogether. I felt myself growing weaker and weaker each day. I could actually feel myself slowly dying,” said Meza.

The mobile billboard circled Phoenix all day calling for Senator Sinema to put patients over profits and give Medicare the power to negotiate for lower drug prices for all Americans.

Constituents sent a clear message to Senator Sinema outside of her Phoenix office: lower drug prices now! 

These events come on the heels of a new polling project showing the overwhelming, bipartisan support for drug pricing reform across Arizona. With this project and interactive map, Senator Sinema and her constituents can now find the level of backing for Medicare negotiation, opinions about pharmaceutical companies, concerns about Congress failing to act, and belief in pharma’s top arguments. The project was conducted by Data for Progress on behalf of Protect Our Care and Patients For Affordable Drugs Now.