Skip to Main Content
04.22.2021 / Press Release

American Families are Watching: Will Congress and President Biden Deliver this Year on the Long-overdue Promise of Prescription Drug Pricing Reforms?

April 22, 2021

Washington, D.C. – Frederick Isasi, Executive Director of Families USA, issued the following statement on the re-introduction today of the Elijah E. Cummings Lower Drug Costs Now Act.

American Families are Watching: Will Congress and President Biden Deliver this Year on the Long-overdue Promise of Prescription Drug Pricing Reforms?

“For far too long, rising drug prices have forced consumers to make impossible choices between their basic needs and life-saving health care. Americans are asking for change; public support for lower drug prices is overwhelming, with 9 out of 10 voters asking the federal government to negotiate reasonable drug prices.  And support isn’t about party affiliation –Republican, Democrat, and Independent voters all support this policy.

“And let’s remember that taxpayers fund a large share of costs in new-drug development, during the pandemic and before. Families across the nation need and deserve a return on that investment. Presently, 8 in 10 voters believe the system works for the benefit of drug and insurance companies. There is also overwhelming concern that Congress doesn’t have the courage to take on these business interests to ensure the health care system actually serves families.

“The Lower Drug Costs Now Act is a long-overdue response to a fundamentally broken system that incentivizes drug companies to take advantage of government-sanctioned monopolies. Instead of investing in real innovations that save lives, drug companies play games with patents and double down on small tweaks to existing drugs that aren’t worth the millions of dollars they charge.

“Congress gave drug companies the power that they are abusing. Every time Congress fails to act to rein-in drug companies, not only do families and taxpayers get ripped off, we actually disincentivize real, life-saving drugs.

“The Lower Drug Costs Now Act would quickly bring down prices for families. Like its federal sister agencies (e.g., the Veterans Affairs Administration), Medicare would be able to negotiate for lower prices for those drugs that are bankrupting America’s families, including insulin.  Eliminating the restriction on Medicare’s authority to negotiate drug prices will leverage government purchasing power to bring abusive drug prices more in line with those paid by families in other developed countries. The bill also limits the ability of drug companies to raise prices on existing drugs year-over-year and protects seniors from high out-of-pocket costs in Part D by establishing a $2,000 out-of-pocket cap.

“America’s families across the political spectrum want bold action on prescription drug reforms this year. They want elected officials to deliver on their campaign promises last fall to rein in high prescription drug prices and unrelenting price increases. The Lower Drug Costs Now Act is a critical step in leveling the playing field. It will play a crucial role in families’ economic security, protecting their resiliency during and after this pandemic. The Lower Drug Costs Now Act also is vital to supporting a more equitable health care system that doesn’t leave families that are the most economically vulnerable at the whims of pharmaceutical industry profits.

“The time to act is right now. It is critical that this legislation is included in the next legislative action by Congress. The vast majority of voters of all political ideologies want this. They are watching. Will Congress and President Biden deliver on real, meaningful prescription drug reforms this year?

Families USA, a leading national voice for health care consumers, is dedicated to the achievement of high-quality, affordable health care and improved health for all.