As the Senate prepares to vote on the Inflation Reduction Act, 77 organizations representing patients, consumers, seniors, unions, small businesses, employers, physicians, nurses, and disease advocacy and human rights organizations sent a letter
to all Democrats in Congress urging them to immediately pass the historic prescription drug price reforms included in the Inflation Reduction Act.
“We are poised to pass the largest and most consequential health care bill since the Affordable Care Act – an historic moment to finally put patients first by lowering prices of prescription drugs in this country,” said David Mitchell, a patient with incurable blood cancer whose drugs carry a list price of more than $900,000 per year and founder of Patients For Affordable Drugs Now. “When Congress finishes its work and passes these drug pricing reforms, they will move the nation in a new direction, providing savings to patients, taxpayers, workers, and employers. Americans who overwhelmingly support the legislation are watching expectantly for Congress to seize this opportunity and pass the drug pricing provisions now.”
This legislation will, for the first time, authorize Medicare to negotiate prices directly for some of the most expensive prescription medicines; institute a cap on out-of-pocket drug costs for Medicare beneficiaries; and limit annual price increases to stop price gouging by drug corporations. CBO estimates savings of almost $300 billion to the federal government alone.
“Lowering prescription drug prices is the number one health issue Americans want to see solved, and we’re on the cusp of making that a reality,” Nancy LeaMond, AARP Executive Vice President and Chief Advocacy and Engagement Officer said. “AARP urges Congress to take action to allow Medicare to negotiate the price of prescription drugs for the first time, saving seniors thousands of dollars and needless hardship.”
“Congress can make history in the next week by passing the most expansive and powerful reforms to help Americans afford prescription drugs since enactment of the Medicare Part D benefit in 2003,” the letter
reads. “In a time of great division in our nation, this legislation has overwhelmingly bipartisan support. More than 70 percent of Republicans, Democrats, and independents back each of these reforms, which have consistently been the most popular element under discussion for reconciliation…Congress has repeatedly promised to address this problem, and the American people need the help now more than ever.”
There is enthusiastic momentum to pass the drug price provisions in the Inflation Reduction Act. All Senate Democrats support them, and Majority Leader Schumer said Democrats are excited to advance the popular drug price reforms this weekend. Speaker Pelosi is expected to promptly bring the House back to vote on the legislation next week. On Thursday, nearly a third of the Democratic senators, including Majority Leader Schumer, joined advocacy groups on Capitol Hill for a press conference calling for the passage of the Inflation Reduction Act including the drug price reforms. President Biden is prepared to sign this package when it reaches his desk, fulfilling a promise and bringing relief to millions.
Read the full letter and list of signers here