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Bipartisan Legislation Would Lower Prescription Prices

Statement of Peter Maybarduk, Director, Public Citizen’s Access to Medicines Program

Note: Today, U.S. Rep. Jan Schakowsky (D-Ill.) introduced the Price Relief, Innovation and Competition for Essential Drugs (PRICED) Act to lower prescription prices by reducing the market exclusivity for biologics from 12 years, currently the longest period in the world, to five years and opening the door for lower-priced options in biologics. Public Citizen applauds Reps. Schakowsky, Angie Craig (D-Minn.,) Rosa DeLauro (D-Conn.,) Lloyd Doggett (D-Texas,) Raja Krishnamoorthi (D-Ill.) and Bruce Westerman (R-Ark.)

“For every thousand hacking at the leaves of evil, there is one striking at the root.” So wrote Henry David Thoreau, and so it is today with prescription pricing. Our Congress for too long has hacked away with modest and mediocre ideas that ultimately will not make medicines affordable. This bill is an awesome exception, which recognizes that prescription drug corporations’ monopoly power is the root of America’s outrageous medicine prices.

We salute these lawmakers for striking at the root, and we call on Congress to pass this act along with fellow root-striking legislation such as the Medicare Negotiation and Competitive Licensing Act and the Stop Price Gouging Act.