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Schakowsky Hosts Roundtable To Discuss FAIR Drug Pricing Act

CHICAGO, IL – Congresswoman Jan Schakowsky (D-IL), a Senior Chief Deputy Whip, today participated in a roundtable hosted by AARP Illinois to discuss her FAIR Drug Pricing Act. The bipartisan, bicameral legislation takes the first step in addressing skyrocketing prescription drug prices by requiring transparency for pharmaceutical corporations that plan to increase drug prices.

 

“Drug pricing reform is a bipartisan priority that we must address now, and I am happy to have the opportunity to discuss this legislation with those working on the frontlines of this issue here in Chicago and throughout Illinois. The American people are demanding to know why life-saving prescription drugs that are developed with their taxpayer dollars cost them so much. The bill will for the first time give taxpayers notice of price increases and bring basic transparency to the market for prescription drugs. There are no loopholes or carveouts in this bill, and I hope that my colleagues will join me in fighting for the passage of this bill so that Big Pharma will finally have to answer to answer to the American people,” said Congresswoman Jan Schakowsky.

 

Schakowsky continued, “my FAIR Drug Pricing Act will give them the answers they deserve. We cannot allow prescription drug corporations to hide behind a curtain, refusing to disclose any information on their drug price gouging. Congress has sat by while AbbVie has increased the price of top-selling anti-inflammatory drug Humira by almost 250 percent in the past five years to nearly $40,000; while Celgene increased the price of Revlimid, a critical blood cancer drug, by nearly 20 percent to $18,546; and while Eli Lilly, Novo Nordisk, and Sanofi have increased the price of insulin by 700 percent over the last decade. We must act now.”

 

Over the past five years, brand name drug prices have increased at 10 times the rate of inflation. AbbVie has increased the price of top-selling anti-inflammatory drug Humira by almost 250 percent in the past five years to nearly $40,000. Pfizer regularly increases the price of its drugs – often twice a year. In 2017, Pfizer raised drug prices twice by an average of 20 percent for more than 90 drugs.

 

Meanwhile, American taxpayers continue to pay more each year because of the rising costs of drugs. Medicare spent nearly $130 billion on prescription drugs in 2016, and Medicare’s portion of U.S. national drug spending has increased from 18 percent in 2006 to 30 percent in 2017.

“The high cost of prescription drugs hits older adults on fixed incomes particularly hard, often leaving them to decide between paying for medicine or other basic necessities, like food, clothing and shelter,” said Bob Gallo, AARP Illinois State Director. “On behalf of the nearly 1.7 million members in the state of Illinois, AARP applauds the leadership of Rep. Schakowsky on this very needed effort to lower prescription drug prices for older Americans and their families.”

The Fair Accountability and Innovative Research (FAIR) Drug Pricing Act would require drug manufacturers to disclose and provide more information about planned drug price increases, including research and development costs. Increased transparency will help provide much-needed context for taxpayers, consumers and policymakers about the costs and value of medications, and may also incentivize companies to reassess the long-standing practice of relentless drug price increases.

 

Specifically, the FAIR Drug Pricing Act would require drug manufacturers to notify the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) and submit a transparency and justification report 30 days before they increase the price of certain drugs that cost at least $100 by more than 10 percent in one year or 25 percent over three years. The report will require manufacturers to provide a justification for each price increase, manufacturing, research and development costs for the qualifying drug, net profits attributable to the qualifying drug, marketing and advertising spending on the qualifying drug, and other information as deemed appropriate. The bill will not prohibit manufacturers from increasing prices, but it will, for the first time, give taxpayers notice of price increases and bring basic transparency to the market for prescription drugs.

 

The FAIR Drug Pricing Act is supported by AARP, Campaign for Sustainable Rx Pricing, National Multiple Sclerosis Society, Patients For Affordable Drugs, American College of Physicians (ACP), American Academy of Neurology, Blue Cross Blue Shield Association, The Medicare Rights Center, Families USA, Center for Medicare Advocacy, Inc., Marshfield Clinic Health System, Security Health Plan, Alliance of Community Health Plans (ACHP), National Committee to Preserve Social Security and Medicare, Alliance for Retired Americans, Medicare Rights Center, and Public Citizen.

 

More information on the FAIR Drug Pricing Act is available here. Text of the legislation is available here.

Photos of the event are available HERE and HERE.

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    repName Jan Schakowsky  
    helpWithFedAgencyAddress Chicago Office
    5533 N. Broadway
    Chicago, IL 60640
     
    district 9th District of Illinois  
    academyUSCitizenDate July 1, 2017  
    academyAgeDate July 1, 2017  
    academyApplicationDueDate October 20, 2017  
    repStateABBR IL  
    repDistrict 9  
    repState Illinois  
    repDistrictText 9th  
    repPhoto    
    SponsoredBills Sponsored Bills  
    CoSponsoredBills Co-Sponsored Bills