WASHINGTON, D.C. – The Congressional Progressive Caucus released the following statement today after they sent a letter led by First Vice Chair Rep. Mark Pocan (D-WI) and Co-Chairs Rep. Raúl M. Grijalva (D-AZ) and Rep. Keith Ellison (D-MN) with 31 other co-signers to President Obama urging him to take executive action concerning the rising cost of prescription drugs.

“Americans deserve reliable access to safe and affordable prescription drugs. While drug company profits continue to increase at a faster pace than any other sector of the health care industry, too many working families are being squeezed by skyrocketing drug prices,” Rep. Pocan said. “The President should use his executive authority to end pharmaceutical companies’ monopoly on drug pricing and ensure that Americans don’t have to worry about how they will pay for lifesaving prescriptions.” 

“When major pharmaceutical corporations hike the cost of their drugs overnight, lives are put at-risk,” Rep. Ellison said. “We’ve seen it with Mylan, which raised the price of the EpiPen by 480 percent over 5 years, Turing Pharmaceuticals, which raised the price of the lifesaving drug Daraprim by 5,000 percent, and too many others. This is price gouging by greedy corporations looking to profit off taxpayers and people who need these drugs. Plain and simple. The Administration can prevent this unacceptable behavior by allowing for drug importation and stopping these monopolies. Ensuring affordable access to drugs won’t only save money, it will also save lives.”

“It’s unconscionable that drug corporations are making exorbitant profits off taxpayer funded research while patients are being denied lifesaving medicines,” Rep. Grijalva said. “It’s time to update the rules so that drug monopolies will no longer control an individual’s right to a healthy life.”

To read the full letter, see the attached PDF.

The letter is signed by Rep. Mark Pocan, Rep. Keith Ellison, Rep. Raul M. Grijalva, Rep. Lloyd Doggett, Rep. Jan Schakowsky, Rep. Rosa DeLauro, Rep. Elijah Cummings, Rep. Nydia M. Velazquez, Rep. Jim McDermott, Rep. Alan Lowenthal, Rep. Jared Huffman, Rep. Luis Gutierrez, Rep. Eleanor Holmes Norton, Rep. Sam Farr, Rep. Gwen Moore, Rep. John Conyers, Jr., Rep Earl Blumenauer, Rep. Barbara Lee, Rep Maxine Waters, Rep. Steve Cohen, Rep Brenda Lawrence, Rep. Michelle Lujan Grisham, Rep. John Yarmuth, Rep. Donna F. Edwards, Rep. Emanuel Cleaver, Rep. Peter Welch, Rep. Louise M. Slaughter, Rep. Ann Kirkpatrick, Rep. Debbie Wasserman Schultz, Rep. Chris Van Hollen, Rep. Adam B. Schiff, Rep. Chellie Pingree, Rep. John Garamendi, and Rep. Don Beyer. 

The Congressional Progressive Caucus (CPC) is the largest caucus within the House Democratic Caucus, with over 70 members standing up for progressive ideals in Washington and throughout the country. Since 1991, the CPC has advocated for progressive policies that prioritize working Americans over corporate interests, fight economic and social inequality, and promote civil liberties. The CPC champions progressive policy solutions like comprehensive immigration reform, a $15 national minimum wage, fair trade, gun violence reform, debt-free college, and making the federal government a Model Employer.