What They Are Saying: Americans Continue to Demand Bipartisan Solutions to Hold Big Pharma Accountable, Lower Rx Prices

Mar 2, 2020

Voices from Around the Country Reiterate Need for Congress to Address Out-of-Control Prescription Drug Prices in 2020

Prescription drug prices are out-of-control and have left 58 million Americans struggling to afford their much-needed medications. Meanwhile, Big Pharma continues to evade responsibility for the crisis it created by hiking prices and gaming the system.

Americans across the country continue to demand action. A recent survey conducted in five top 2020 Senate battleground states found an overwhelming majority of voters hold Big Pharma responsible for out-of-control prescription drug prices and want Congress to pass bipartisan solutions.

Here are a few examples of what Americans are saying about bipartisan solutions to lower prices and hold Big Pharma accountable:

State Representative Dave Williams (R-El Paso), Colorado:

Coloradans are struggling. The out-of-control price of prescription drugs has burdened countless patients, seniors and their families across our state … In fact, a survey found that nearly 40% of Colorado patients stopped taking their medication as prescribed due to cost. Meanwhile, the pharmaceutical industry continues to raise prices and keep them high to pad their bottom line. Already this year, brand-name drug companies have increased prices on hundreds of prescription drugs.And over the first half of 2019, drug prices climbed over 10% — four times faster than the rate of inflation.

Year after year, Big Pharma gets away with this egregious behavior by employing a number of price gouging and anti-competitive tactics and by spending tens of millions of dollars on an army of lobbyists — more than any other industry … It’s time for our elected leaders in Washington to act to hold Big Pharma accountable … An independent poll found that over 70% of Coloradans hold brand-name drug companies responsible for rising prescription drug prices and nearly 75% want Congress to pass bipartisan drug pricing solutions.

Fortunately, there are a number of solutions being considered on Capitol Hill that would hold Big Pharma accountable and deliver much needed relief for Coloradan patients … The measures would help hold Big Pharma accountable and lower prescription drug prices by keeping price increases below the rate of inflation, boosting transparency, encouraging competition and reforming to Medicare Part D … These solutions are a no-brainer. It’s simply up to Congress to act. We need our elected officials in Washington to hold Big Pharma accountable now.

Jonathan Moynahan, Maine:

The rising price of prescription drugs has led to a full-blown health care crisis … In fact, a recent study found that in 2017, nearly one-third of Mainers stopped taking their prescription medications as prescribed by their doctors. Rationing medications by splitting pills in half or skipping doses can lead to severe consequences.

Despite the mounting crisis of affordability, brand name drug manufacturers continue to employ a host of anti-competitive, price-gouging and shady tactics that allow them to hike prices at rates that far out-pace inflation with little consequence. It’s increasingly clear that without legislative action in Washington, Big Pharma will always place profits over patients.

Thankfully, Sen. Susan Collins has backed an important drug pricing bill that has a real shot of making it to the president’s desk … and includes a number of market-based solutions championed by members in both chambers and on both sides of the aisle. These reforms would enhance transparency, increase competition and provide much-needed reform to Medicare Part D. These reforms are supported by over 70% of Mainers across the political spectrum.

Katie Cagle, Chair, Epi-Pen User, Georgia:

Prescription drug companies continue to price-gouge Georgia residents by employing anti-competitive practices that put profits ahead of people … In Georgia, the out-of-control price of prescription medications has become an unsustainable burden for too many families … Voters across the country agree prescription drug prices are a top concern headed into this year’s election. And despite the escalating crisis of affordability, Big Pharma continues to go about business as usual. Big Pharma started 2020 by hiking prices on hundreds of drugs thousands of times.

While Georgia families struggle to afford their prescription medications, Big Pharma and their army of lobbyists are spending record sums to prevent sensible legislation from being passed. Thepharmaceutical industry spent a whopping $29 million lobbying against market-based solutions to lower drug prices last year alone. Georgians are struggling, and we need our leaders in Washington to act … It’s time to side with patients and hold Big Pharma accountable.

State Senator Kevin Priola (R-Adams), Colorado:

… A recent Morning Consult poll reported that nearly 92 percent of our state’s voters said that drug prices are an important issue for them and 71 percent blamed pharmaceutical companies for rising prices, but lawmakers have yet to pass legislation that would prevent price gouging, which has put our residents in harm’s way. Twenty-nine percent of Coloradans have skipped filling their prescriptions or stopped taking their drugs altogether due to rising prices. But forgoing prescribed medication puts lives at risk, increasing the chances of medical complications.

… The price of brand-name prescription drugs, of which many don’t have generic alternatives, have increased almost 58 percent, while annual incomes in our state rose by 12 percent. The rise in drug prices doesn’t match an increase in our incomes … “America’s drug pricing regime is broken. It requires reform to sustain fiscal sustainability and steer incubation and innovation forward. It needs more transparency, better incentives and real competition to drive down prices,” said Sen. Grassley. I hope Sen. Cory Gardner, who is leading a battle of his own against Big Pharma, joins Sen. Grassley, President Trump, Vice President Pence, and the bipartisan coalition of lawmakers that backs … lowering prescription drug prices nationwide.

Kyle Metiver, Maine:

The out-of-control price of prescription drugs has led to a crisis for too many Mainers and Americans around the country. In fact, 58 million Americans, roughly 23%, were unable to pay for drugs they were prescribed last year. I have heard from many Mainers forced to choose between putting food on the table or paying for their prescription medications. It’s time for Congress to take bold steps to pass legislation that will tackle the out-of-control price of prescription drugs and hold Big Pharma accountable.

Congress has an opportunity to work across party lines and deliver results for the American people … I applaud Sen. Collins for her dedicated leadership on this issue and for the demonstrated commitment she has shown to Maine patients and families…

Washington simply must act to hold Big Pharma accountable and lower drug prices. See CSRxP’s infographic detailing solutions with significant bipartisan consensus in Congress HERE.