“This is one of the
most comprehensive reforms of the pharmaceutical industry ever proposed,” said
Peter Maybarduk, director of Public Citizen’s Access to Medicines Program.
“Medical treatment rationing is a painful reality for millions of Americans.
Americans are splitting pills, skipping pills and making impossible decisions
about when we can afford to pay for groceries versus when we can afford to pay
for the medical care our families need. The core problem is monopoly power. We
can change it and make medicine affordable for all. This legislation is a deep
challenge to the corrosive political influence of the pharmaceutical industry.”
Added Steven Knievel,
advocate for Public Citizen’s Access to Medicines Program, “Rather than take
away health insurance and essential benefits from millions of Americans,
Congress should take action and pass this legislation. It is morally wrong that
some people do not have access to the medicines they need to lead healthy and
productive lives, particularly given that our country pays the pharmaceutical
industry $457 billion annually. Enough is enough.”
Public Citizen and
allies, representing millions of consumer and grassroots advocates, public
health experts and health care providers across the country, sent a letter
to Congress today urging swift passage of the measure.
“This Act is a
significant step toward addressing one of the leading drivers of healthcare
costs for the federal government and patients – prescription drug prices,” the
“[I]t provides a
common-sense approach to tackle the urgent problem of people lacking access to
the medicines they need to lead healthy and productive lives,” the letter
continues. “Congress cannot afford to sit idly by while price gouging
continues. We urge you to pass the Improving Access to Affordable Prescription Drugs
Act without delay.”
If passed, the
legislation would bring down prescription costs and effectively challenge the
pharmaceutical industry’s economic and political power. It is sensible,
long-needed, comprehensive and worthy of broad-based bipartisan support, Public
In addition to
Franken, the legislation was introduced by Sens. Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.),
Sheldon Whitehouse (D-R.I.), Sherrod Brown (D-Ohio), Amy Klobuchar (D-Minn.),
Elizabeth Warren (D-Mass.), Tammy Baldwin (D-Wis.), Jack Reed (D-R.I.), Kirsten
Gillibrand (D-N.Y.), Maggie Hassan (D-N.H.), Dick Durbin (D-Ill.), Chris Van
Hollen (D-Md.), Jeff Merkley (D-Ore.), Tom Udall (D-N.M.) Richard Blumenthal
(D-Conn.) and Cory Booker (D-N.J.) in the Senate, and U.S. Reps. Janice Schakowsky
(D-Ill.), Elijah Cummings (D-Md.), Peter Welch (D-Vt.) and Rosa DeLauro
(D-Conn.) in the U.S. House of Representatives.
summary and context can be found here.
summary (long) can be found here.
support and sign-on letter can be found here.