Now that the midterms are over, it is now time for candidates to do what they promised voters if elected: enact real solutions that will rein in out-of-control drug prices.
Across the country, skyrocketing drug prices became one of the most prominent issues on the campaign trail – and for good reason. One-in-four Americans can’t afford the medications they need, often having to choose between paying their rent or paying for life-saving drugs.
Meanwhile, Big Pharma continues to habitually price-gouge patients. In fact, over the past five years, Big Pharma has raised drug prices at a pace that far exceeds the rate of inflation. And just two weeks ago, Pfizer CEO Ian Read told shareholders on the company’s third quarter earnings call that they’re going back to “business as normal” as they prepare for another price hike in January.
It’s no wonder that 88 percent of Americans said medication costs should be a priority issue for congressional candidates this year. Candidates listened, ran and won on the promise they would fight to protect consumers and keep Big Pharma in check. The time for campaign rhetoric is over. It is time for Members of Congress to convert those campaign promises into action.
Although the political landscape has shifted to a divided government, the good news is that lowering drug costs is a bipartisan issue that Republicans and Democrats alike have pledged to solve. Immediately following the election, President Trump, Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell and House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi indicated that taking action against high drug costs will be on the agenda in 2019.
Progress has been made, but there is still more work ahead. CSRxP looks forward working with the administration and Congress to bring free-market solutions to consumers.