WASHINGTON, D.C. - Today, Congresswoman Jan Schakowsky, Chair of the Congressional Progressive Caucus’ (CPC) Health Care Task Force, led 35 of her progressive colleagues on a letter to President Donald Trump proposing an opportunity to work together to reduce the skyrocketing costs of prescription drugs. The letter lays out specific proposals for how the Administration and the 36 members of the CPC could work together during the upcoming reauthorization of the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) User Fee Agreements (UFAs). To read the full letter, click here.
“Throughout your campaign and since becoming President, you have repeatedly stated your desire to lower drug prices,” the letter states. “In fact, as recently as March 7, 2017, you stated that you are working on a new system to enhance competition and reduce the price of prescription drugs. We share those goals and believe that we need to take immediate action to reduce the skyrocketing cost of drugs. To that end, we believe the upcoming reauthorization of the User Fee Agreements (UFAs) provides an opportunity for your Administration and Congress to work together to reform our drug pricing system and bring relief to American families.”
This letter comes as part of the Progressive Caucus’ continuing efforts to solve the prescription drug spending crisis facing our country. As the letter outlines, 77 percent of Americans believe the price of drugs is unreasonable, and studies have found that a quarter of American families cannot fill a prescription due to the cost of the drug. The letter sent today identifies specific opportunities for Congress and the Administration to work together to lower drug pricing during the reauthorization of the UFAs between prescription drug companies and the FDA. Ideas for action include requiring Medicare to negotiate for the price of drugs, requiring rebates for high-priced drugs, improving transparency around drug pricing, and ensuring generic drug manufacturers have access to the materials they need to conduct studies essential for FDA approval.
“The time has come for us to act,” the letter concludes. “We cannot sit by and watch Americans struggle to afford the drugs they need and jeopardize critical public insurance programs like Medicare and Medicaid as their drug spending continues to rise. We urge you to work with us to improve the lives of millions of Americans by lowering drug prices.”
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.