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05.05.2021 / Press Release

Reporters Note – Testifying on behalf of American families who want action NOW on lowering Rx costs

May 5, 2021   

MEDIA AVAILABILITY: To speak with Frederick Isasi, please contact Lisa Holland, lholland@familiesusa.org. A copy of Isasis testimony is available upon request. 

During Testimony Before Congress, Families USAs Isasi Will Underscore that Families Need Action Now on High Prescription Drug Costs 

Armed with harrowing example of how difficult it is for consumers to afford life-saving medication and multiple polling studies showing that a majority of Americans want Congress to take action now on the cost of prescription drugs, Frederick Isasi, Executive Director of Families USA, will testify at the Lower Drug Costs Now: Expanding Access to Affordable Health Care hearing. 

During the May 5 hearing (at noon EST via Zoom) convened by the Education and Labor Committee Subcommittee on Health, Education, Labor, and Pensions, Isasi will outline how high prescription drug costs are wreaking havoc on families health and financial well-being. He will also highlight how the recently re-introduced H.R. 3, the Elijah E. Cummings Lower Drug Costs Now Act, represents a critical opportunity for Congress to take bold action to address the rapidly-growing crisis around prescription drug costs. 

In his testimony, he will note that he testified before this subcommittee two years ago, and [w]hile so much in our world over the last two years has changed dramatically – when it comes to drug prices, the story is frustratingly the same. And that after decades of egregious price increases and staggeringly high-launch prices, it is time to solve the problem and reduce the burden of prescription drug costs on Americas families. 

Isasi will explain why Congress must act now by sharing the story of 80year-old Maureen Allen of GeorgiaPrescribed an anticoagulant treatment for blood clots in her left leg and lungs, Maureen pays $400 every three months for this medication that she must take for the rest of her life. But at that price, Maureen simply cannot make ends meet and live out her retirement dream of focusing on animal rescue. To offset the high cost, she has decided to “give up food.” She eats one meal a day and drinks tons of water because it fills her up. She has also given up the dentist and non-essential driving to save on gas and repair costs.  

Hell also highlight how families are fed up and want an end to the status quo on prescription drug costs. He will cite recent polling data indicating that American people – across the political spectrum – want action now. They are concerned that Congress wont go far enough, especially in addressing high cost of prescription drugs (67%) and that the healthcare system today works more for the benefit of the drug industries and insurance companies rather than for the benefit of the average person (82%). Most alarmingly, nine out of ten employers report that drug prices are among the greatest threats to affordability of health coverage for their employees. 

Hell remind Congress that they created this problem by giving pharmaceutical companies the monopolies they abuse and imploring them to “finally solve this life and death health and economic issue.” Hell conclude his testimony by asking whether they will support this commonsense legislation to protect taxpayers and your constituents from profiteering by the pharmaceutical industry and fix the broken system, or side with drug makers, who hope to continue to exercise unfettered and unregulated monopolies over their products?