WASHINGTON, DC – Following today’s passage of the Opioid Crisis Response Act in the House of Representatives, Congressional Progressive Caucus Co-Chairs Mark Pocan (WI-02) and Raúl M. Grijalva (AZ-03), along with CPC Vice-Chair and Health Task Force Chair Jan Schakowsky (IL-09), released the following statement celebrating the exclusion of a proposed multi-billion-dollar bailout of the pharmaceutical industry from the final bill, and vowing to reject such lobbying efforts while working aggressively to reduce drug prices under a Democratic-led Congress.

“We are pleased that a four-billion-dollar pharmaceutical industry bailout was not included in the Opioid Crisis Response Act, despite relentless lobbying by Big Pharma. The Pharma lobby’s greed knows no bounds. Less than a year after receiving a multi-billion-dollar windfall from the GOP tax bill, the pharmaceutical industry tried to come back for another bailout. In their latest ploy, the pharmaceutical industry attempted to squeeze more money out of the pockets of seniors in order to enrich themselves by reducing the required drug manufacturer discounts on brand name prescription drugs. This attempt to increase costs for seniors and taxpayers is indicative of the pharmaceutical industry’s typical pay-to-play politics.

“As President Trump’s promises to make prescription drugs more affordable ring more and more hollow, it’s clear we need real legislative solutions.  The Congressional Progressive Caucus is committed to supporting solutions, including Rep. Doggett’s Medicare Negotiation and Competitive Licensing Act and Rep. Schakowsky’s Improving Access to Affordable Prescription Drugs Act. We support ending pay-for-delay practices and increasing generic competition by passing the CREATES Act, which removes barriers to competition to lower the costs of drugs. We know this bold agenda deeply resonates with the public and enjoys broad support—regardless of party affiliation.

“The CPC is committed to ensuring further pharmaceutical industry bailouts never become law. We will reject any attempt by Republicans to sneak this latest pharmaceutical industry bailout provision into any future deal. We will work towards real solutions to lower drug costs.”