Statement: Members of Congress Were Elected To Fight For Patients, Not Big Pharma

WASHINGTON, D.C. – Today three Democrats on the House Energy and Commerce Committee, U.S. Reps. Kurt Schrader (D-Ore.), Scott Peters (D-Calif.) and Kathleen Rice (D-N.Y.), announced they would vote against including Medicare drug price negotiation in the Democrats’ reconciliation package. Robert Weissman, president of Public Citizen, released the following statement:

“Is it Uncle Sam or Uncle Sucker? The U.S. pays far more for prescription medicines than other nations. Why in the world would any member of Congress want to preserve Big Pharma’s price gouging?

“By overwhelming numbers, Americans demand that Congress take action on drug pricing. It’s patently obvious why: 1-in-4 Americans ration their prescriptions because of too high prices and many others suffer to afford the meds they need.

“There is no good reason, none, for any member of Congress to block pricing reform. There is especially no good reason for any Democrat, since voters elected Democrats specifically to deliver on promises to bring down medicine prices. There are, however, many very identifiable, bad reasons for members to side with Big Pharma and against their constituents.

“Reps. Scott Peter, Kurt Schrader and Kathleen Rice are threatening to block meaningful medicine pricing reform in legislation now under consideration in the Energy and Commerce Committee. They should stand down – and stand with the American people.”