Big Pharma has ramped up their lobbying and their lies around drug pricing as Congress closes in on a budget agreement that has the potential to provide relief to consumers struggling with sky-high drug prices. Giving Medicare the power to negotiate is the single most effective way to lower drug prices for patients. With Republicans bought and paid for, every Democrat in Congress needs to get on board with this overwhelmingly popular proposal. Editorials, lawmakers, advocates and patients across the country urge Congress to do the right thing and pass Medicare negotiation now.

EDITORIALS:

Pittsburgh Post-Gazette: Time Has Come To Bargain Drug Prices. “Bringing down prescription drug prices has been a major kitchen-table issue for American consumers for years. When the 2019 bill was being debated, a Kaiser Family Foundation poll showed that more than 85% of Americans favor allowing the government to negotiate directly with pharmaceutical companies and using those negotiated prices for private citizens too. And politicians have long pushed for allowing Medicare to negotiate drug prices — Presidents Joe Biden, Donald Trump and Barack Obama all campaigned on it.” [Pittsburgh Post-Gazette, 9/17/21]

New Jersey Star Ledger: Don’t Be Duped by Dark Money ‘Mediscare’ Ads: “Democrats aren’t cutting Medicare in their $3.5 trillion plan – they’re expanding it. They’re adding new dental, hearing and vision benefits to help folks like the nearly 20 percent of American seniors who have no teeth left. And they’d cover the cost of this by negotiating lower prices for prescriptions. So who is lobbing these lies? Thanks to laws that hide the identity of the sponsors, we can’t know for sure, but who could it be aside from Big Pharma?” [NJ.com, 10/6/21]

The Press Democrat: Let Medicare Negotiate Cheaper Drug Prices. “The federal government could save up to $450 billion over 10 years if Medicare could negotiate drug prices. The Congressional Budget Office estimates the provision also would increase federal revenues by $45 billion by lowering costs for employer-provided health care plans and increasing employees’ taxable incomes. Beneficiaries would pay less, too. Polls shows near-universal support among Democrats for giving Medicare the power to negotiate prices with the pharmaceutical industry, but that change has remained elusive, even as part of a reconciliation package that Democrats can pass with no Republican votes.” [The Press Democrat, 10/1/21]

OP-EDS:

U.S. Reps. Brown and Mfume in the Baltimore Sun: Congress Must Act to Lower Prescription Drug Prices. “It’s long past time Congress acted decisively to make prescription medications more affordable to save lives and ensure families can afford the medicines they need to care for themselves and their families. Fortunately, there’s a tangible fix to this problem: Empower Medicare to negotiate for lower prices with the pharmaceutical industry…It doesn’t have to be this way. It’s long past time for Congress to fix this problem by applying a common-sense approach: allow Medicare to negotiate lower drug prices for all Americans.” [The Baltimore Sun, 9/7/21]

U.S. Reps. Allred, Axne, Davids, Kim and Spanberger in The Washington Post: Opinion: End The Monopoly. Let Medicare Negotiate Drug Prices. “The current system is broken, and it is harming Americans. But now, Congress can stand on the side of consumers and take decisive action to lower prescription drug costs for millions of Americans. By giving Medicare the power to negotiate drug prices, Congress can make sure patients come first.” [The Washington Post, 9/23/21]

Orlando Sentinel: Op-Ed: Rep. Murphy, Please Vote to Lower Prescription Costs. “As I am currently in the Medicaid gap for coverage, I pay almost 80% of the cost of my medication to treat my diabetes and heart condition, which totals over $500a month. That is an extremely high cost just to stay alive, and it has given me financial difficulties to both afford my medicine and stay on top of my bills. I know I’m not alone. Americans pay three times more for prescription drugs than people in other countries, and far too many are forced to make impossible choices between accessing lifesaving prescription drugs or putting food on the table or paying rent.” [Orlando Sentinel, 10/07/21]

Delaware Business Times: Op-Ed: First State in Need of Drug Pricing Reform. “A recent report from West Health found that 25% of Delaware residents couldn’t afford a prescription given to them by their doctor and that over 146,000 respondents in the state chose not to seek treatment for medical issues because of the prohibitive cost of care. It’s clear Delawareans looking to fill their prescriptions need relief, and fortunately, the Biden administration and key senators, like Carper and Coons, are poised to take action.” [Delaware Business Times, 9/20/21]

Reno Gazette Journal: Op-Ed: Nevadans of All Ages Need Lower Drug Prices. “Lawmakers have no good excuse for leaving anyone behind, watering down reform or kowtowing to industry demands for minimal change. The prescription drug industry is the most profitable sector in the nation, outpacing profit margins in some other industries by double digits. A recent study showed that drug corporations could make $1 trillion less in sales and still be the most profitable industry in the nation.” [Reno Gazette Journal, 9/27/21]

Delaware Online: Op-Ed: Congress Must Act Now to Lower Prescription Drug Prices. “Congress must address drug prices to make health care more affordable. Families deserve the best care and treatment possible for their loved ones. This crisis impacts every American family, community and business. It is a universal issue that is growing. A June poll by West Health found that one in four Delaware families were unable to afford a necessary prescription over the last year and 67% said they believe prescription drug prices are continuing to climb. The stress and anxiety created by the financial cost for medications and insurance is one that we must continue to address across both the state and federal government.” [Delaware Online, 9/27/21]

Statesman Journal: Op-Ed: The Problem With Rep. Schrader’s Shifting Priorities on Lowering Drug Prices. “After supporting similar legislation in 2019, Schrader has shifted his priorities, opting to protect drug corporations’ power to control drug prices and doing nothing to lower prices for the hundreds of millions of non-seniors who are also struggling. After voting for an earlier version of the Lower Drug Costs Now Act last Congress, he’s now proposing a bill that would severely limit the number of drug prices that could be negotiated and the number of Americans who would benefit.” [Statesman Journal, 10/1/21]