November 3, 2021
WASHINGTON — Representative Pramila Jayapal (WA-07), chair of the Congressional Progressive Caucus, issued the following statement today on the agreement reached by Democratic legislators for prescription drug pricing reform in the Build Back Better Act:
“Prescription drug pricing reform is overwhelmingly popular and desperately needed across the country, which is why the Progressive Caucus included it as one of our priorities for this legislation. Americans pay more than any other country in the world for prescription drugs, and this agreement allows us to begin tackling that outrage with policy.
“This agreement will, for the first time ever, allow Medicare to negotiate down prices on some of the highest-cost drugs, a policy supported by nearly 90 percent of Americans. It will cap insulin at $35 for a month’s supply, a life-saving measure for those with diabetes who are currently forced to pay upwards of $200 per vial. It ensures seniors will not pay more than $2,000 out of pocket for their drugs annually, and it will impose a tax penalty on drug companies that increase their prices faster than inflation. This is real progress, and it gives Congress something to build on, setting us up to continue to take action that curbs the pharmaceutical industry’s greed and profiteering.
“But given this framework’s limitations, it’s clear that Big Pharma — which has spent millions of dollars lobbying Congress — still has far too much influence over our legislative process. The good news: we have a President and an administration thoroughly committed to tackling price gouging and monopoly power throughout the economy. We urge President Biden, Health and Human Services Secretary Becerra, and others in the Administration to join Congress in this fight. By using its full authority and pursuing aggressive executive action, the administration can finally provide millions of Americans relief from unfair drug pricing.”