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Congress Must Not Cave to Big Pharma

March 15, 2018

Congress Must Not Cave to Big Pharma

Public Citizen Urges Lawmakers to Reject Pharma Demands; Instead Advance Measures to Lower Prescription Drug Prices

WASHINGTON, D.C. – Congress must not cave to pharma lobbyists pushing to allow more profiteering in the Medicare Part D doughnut hole, Public Citizen said today.

“Patients across the country demand relief from high drug prices, not another giveaway to the pharmaceutical lobby,” Public Citizen said in a letter to the U.S. House of Representatives and U.S. Senate leadership and heads of the House and Senate Appropriations Committees and the Labor, Health and Human Services, Education and Related Agencies Subcommittees.

The letter notes that last month lawmakers agreed to increase the pharmaceutical industry discount in the Medicare Part D doughnut hole from 50 percent to 70 percent. But now lobbyists are pushing to protect the industry’s profiteering and at least partially roll back the agreement, and news reports suggest Congress may concede to these demands.

“There is no public constituency for protecting Big Pharma’s profiteering – none,” said Robert Weissman, president of Public Citizen. “The test for members of Congress is whether they stand with the American people or Big Pharma lobbyists and donors.”

“Instead of delivering a pharma bailout that increases costs for Medicare and patients, Congress must stand up to pharmaceutical corporations and pass reforms that people across America struggling to afford their medicines need,” said Steven Knievel, Access to Medicines Advocate at Public Citizen. “These include measures to lower prescription medication prices by leveraging government negotiating power, stopping price spikes and curbing the pharmaceutical industry’s monopoly abuses.”