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Schakowsky, Cummings, DeLauro, and Welch Introduce Comprehensive Bill to Address Drug Pricing

Washington D.C.Today, Senior Democrats introduced H.R. 1776, the Improving Access to Affordable Prescription Drugs Act. This comprehensive legislation would lower drug prices for patients and taxpayers while spurring innovation.  The bill proposes a broad range of solutions, which are explained in further detail here. A companion to this legislation is being introduced in the Senate today by Senators Franken, Sanders, Whitehouse, Brown, Klobuchar, Warren, Baldwin, Reed, Gillibrand, Hassan, Durbin, Van Hollen, Merkley, Udall, and Blumenthal.

“Prescription drug prices have reached a crisis point” said Congresswoman Schakowsky. “Families across the country are struggling to afford the cost of the medications they need. It’s about time that Congress acts to bring down those prices, which are driving up premiums and out-of-pocket costs for people all over the country. President Trump has been clear about his interest in addressing the rising cost of prescription drugs, and I hope that the President will give this bill the consideration it deserves. I am very excited to team up with my colleagues in the House and Senate to propose this legislative solution.”

“Having investigated the rising prices of prescription drugs for several years, I can say without a shadow of a doubt that congressional action is the only way to provide relief to the millions of Americans burdened by these unconscionable prices,” said Congressman Cummings. “This comprehensive bill attacks the problem of drug pricing from various angles.  It is a strong step towards lowering the costs of life-saving medications that our constituents desperately need and preventing drug companies from raking in exorbitant profits off the backs of our most vulnerable citizens.  I urge President Trump and my Republican colleagues in Congress to support this critical legislation.”

“No American should ever struggle to afford lifesaving medical treatment and it is time for Congress to recognize the immediacy of addressing this issue. By sending the cost of prescription drugs skyrocketing, pharmaceutical corporations are preventing patients from accessing treatment, undermining the ability of hospitals to provide quality services, and increasing health care costs overall,” said Congresswoman DeLauro. “The Improving Access to Affordable Prescription Drugs Act is a comprehensive solution to reign in drug prices and Congress should send this bill to the President’s desk to be signed into law.”

“Prescription drugs cure illnesses, relieve pain, and save lives.  But the skyrocketing prices are killing us,” Congressman Welch said. “The market is broken. Patients are getting hammered and hospitals are getting squeezed. And Medicare, the largest purchaser of prescription drugs, has been stripped of its ability to negotiate for lower prices. If we don’t take commonsense steps to make drugs more affordable, our health care system could collapse under the weight of prescription drug prices that nobody can pay. I am pleased that this legislation does just that, and includes reforms I have long advocated for.”

The Improving Access to Affordable Prescription Drugs Act has been endorsed by the Alliance for Retired Americans, AFSCME, American Medical Student Association (AMSA), National Physicians Alliance, Housing Works, Other98, Public Citizen, Social Security Works, MoveOn, National Committee to Preserve Social Security & Medicare, Universities Allied for Essential Medicines (UAEM), American Federation of Teachers (AFT), and PFAM: People of Faith for Access to Medicines. 

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