Congressman Jason Crow and State Rep. Janet Buckner Join Coloradans In Calling for Passage of Crucial Prescription Drug Bill
Today, Rep. Jason Crow (CO-06) and State Rep. Janet Buckner (HD 40) joined Coloradans to talk about the newly-introduced bill, the Lower Drug Prices Now Act (H.R. 3), and its benefits for Coloradans struggling under the weight of increasingly high prescription drug costs. The bill, which would give Medicare the power to negotiate for lower prescription drug prices for people on Medicare and people on private insurance, is slated for a vote in the House before the end of the year.
Millions of Coloradans struggle every day to afford their life-saving prescription drugs. Real people are struggling to afford the price of the medicine they need, on top of every day expenses like rent, child care, and groceries.
“There’s not a week that goes by when I don’t hear from Coloradans about the prescription drug issue in our country,” said Representative Jason Crow. “When one in five Americans report skipping a dose of medication because of its high cost and one in four Americans didn’t fill a prescription because of high costs, it requires immediate action. Big pharma has for far too long fought any reforms or reasonable regulation and out of control costs, while spending $4 billion in lobbying Congress in the last 20 years. I’m proud to have signed on as a co-sponsor of HR 3 and helped introduce the Freedom From Price Gouging Act, a component of HR 3, to provide immediate relief to these higher costs. I support and will be enthusiastically voting for HR 3 next week.”
H.R. 3 would also strengthen Medicare for seniors and people with disabilities by creating a $2,000 out-of-pocket limit for prescription drugs, similar to the bill passed in Colorado that caps out-of-pocket insulin costs.
“I was a pharmaceutical representative for many years, so I have seen the pattern of these much needed prescription drug prices skyrocket over the years,” said Colorado Speaker Pro Tempore Rep. Janet Buckner. “We have hit a point where they have become completely unaffordable for Coloradans. We have worked very hard at the state legislature to do our part to reduce the cost of insulin and other life-saving drugs, but right now we need our elected officials in DC to follow suit, and the Lower Drug Costs Now bill would do just that.”
A new analysis from the nonpartisan experts at the Congressional Budget Office and the CMS Office of the Actuary found that the bill will lower the prices of negotiated drugs by as much as 55%, saving patients an estimated $158 billion over the next few years and reducing the deficit by $345 billion.
“The prescription drugs that would be impacted by this bill are drugs that many people rely on to stay alive,” said Laura Packard, a stage 4 cancer survivor. “My cancer treatments, including chemotherapy drugs, cost hundreds of thousands of dollars, money most people don’t have. In fact, I wound up in the hospital for a week and nearly died because my insurance company wouldn’t cover the $13,000 price tag for the drug Neulasta for me. We need Senator Gardner to express his support for this bill, which is probably the best solution that we have right now to help alleviate the cost of some prescription drugs for Coloradans.”
You can listen to the full recording of the call here.