Today, two hearings on Capitol Hill captured the attention of everyone who is focused on high drug prices.
The Senate Finance Committee held the first of two hearings on looking into how drugs are priced and possible solutions for lowering prices. Senator Ron Wyden (D-KS) pointed out early in the hearing that several Big Pharma manufacturers were invited to attend but declined, saying “Even big tobacco showed up, and they make products that kill people.”
Senator Debbie Stabenow (D-MI) later highlighted the fact that Americans can cross the bridge to Canada and save approximately 40 percent off of list price for their medications. Although some manufacturers say that these drugs are unsafe, the manufacturers are making the drugs so Senator Stabenow posed a question on how it’s possible that these drugs can be safe on the U.S. side of the border, yet unsafe on the Canadian side of the border. We would like to know the answer to that question as well!
The second hearing held by the House Oversight Committee was led by Chairman Elijah Cummings (D-MD) who kicked off the discussion by pointing out that this is a ‘life and death’ situation.
Indeed, the mother of a child who died because of an inability to afford insulin spoke at the hearing. Antroinette Worsham shared her story while fighting back tears, and expressing her fear that a similar outcome could affect her other daughter who deals with diabetes unless prices are lowered.
The increased attention and momentum for this important issue is promising – but the time for action is NOW. We will continue fighting, please join us.
To watch the Senate Finance Committee Hearing, click here: https://www.finance.senate.gov/hearings/drug-pricing-in-america-a-prescription-for-change-part-i
To watch the House Oversight Committee Hearing, click here: https://oversight.house.gov/legislation/hearings/examining-the-actions-of-drug-companies-in-raising-prescription-drug-prices