September 25, 2019 News, Press Releases

Patients to Congress: Let Medicare Negotiate

WASHINGTON, DC — Two cancer patients will stand up to Big Pharma before key House committees today and Thursday to urge Congress to take urgent action to lower prescription drug prices by allowing Medicare to negotiate.

Eighty six percent of Americans — majorities of Democrats, Republicans, and Independents — support allowing Medicare to negotiate for lower prescription drug prices. But under current law, Medicare is prohibited from negotiating directly with drug companies on behalf of taxpayers and Medicare beneficiaries.

Robert Fowler, a cancer patient, father, and retired religious studies professor from North Ridgeville, Ohio, will today tell the Energy & Commerce Subcommittee on Health about his path as a blood cancer patient who recently switched from private insurance to Medicare — and now faces $12,500 per year in prescription drug prices just to stay alive.

“You do not have the power to take away my cancer. Nor do you have the power to make my personal struggles with this disease any easier,” Fowler will say. “But you do have the power to make my prescriptions more affordable.”

The hearing is scheduled for 10:30 a.m. today in room 2322 of the Rayburn House Office Building.

Read Fowler’s testimony here, and watch the hearing here.

On Thursday, David Mitchell, a cancer patient and the founder of Patients For Affordable Drugs, will speak before the Education & Labor Subcommittee on Health about legislation that would break the monopoly pricing power of drug corporations by allowing taxpayers to negotiate for the prices of their medications. Under the current system, Americans pay two to three times what those in other nations pay for the same prescription drugs.

“Yes, drug companies should profit when they develop innovative drugs. But our current system is broken. And it’s costing us all—in our family finances, health outcomes, and lives,” Mitchell will tell the committee. “The fact is, there is one key reason drug companies charge such high prices: Because they can.”

The Health, Employment, Labor, and Pensions Subcommittee hearing is scheduled for 2 p.m. Thursday in room 2175 of the Rayburn House Office Building.

Read Mitchell’s testimony here, and watch the testimony here.

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Patients For Affordable Drugs is the only independent national patient organization focused exclusively on achieving policy changes to lower the price of prescription drugs.