CAPAC Chair Chu Statement on Prescription Drug Pricing Bill

Dec 12, 2019 Issues: Healthcare

Washington, DC — Today, the House of Representatives voted by pass H.R. 3, the Elijah E. Cummings Lower Prescription Drug Costs Now Act. The bill establishes a fair price drug negotiation program to reduce the cost of certain high-priced drugs without competition. Under this bill, the Secretary of Health and Human Services would be empowered to negotiate up to 250 drugs per year. It also creates a maximum price for any negotiated drug of no more than 120% of an international price index, incentivizes manufacturers to stop unfair price hikes on Medicare beneficiaries, creates a new $2000 out of pocket limit on prescription drugs for beneficiaries in Part D, and reinvests savings into dental, vision, and hearing plans for seniors. Rep. Judy Chu, Chair of the Congressional Asian Pacific American Caucus (CAPAC) issued the following statement:

“More than any other issue, I hear from my constituents that they are sick and tired of Big Pharma jacking up the prices on medicines they need to live long and healthy lives. Last year, the best-selling drug Humira, made by Abbvie, had more revenue than every NFL team combined. All while consumers continued to pay more. This is simply outrageous. And it has meant many of my constituents choose to travel to Canada or Mexico, where, even with travel costs, the prescriptions are more affordable. That is today’s vote on HR 3 was so important. Finally, this bill would enable the Secretary of Health and Human Services to negotiate the price of up to 250 drugs, including insulin. H.R. 3 does this by creating a maximum negotiated price for a negotiated drug of no more than one hundred and twenty percent the average price of the drug in a number of international countries. It also extends the negotiated prices of drugs to the private market, includes penalties for pharmaceutical companies who suddenly spike the prices of their drugs, and creates a new out of pocket cap of $2000 a year for seniors with Medicare Part D. And all of these moves are expected to save American taxpayers nearly half a trillion dollars. With these savings, H.R. 3 provides dental, vision, and hearing benefits for Medicare beneficiaries, $10 billion in additional funding for NIH, $10 billion for community health centers, and $10 billion to fight the opioid crisis. I’m proud to vote for this landmark legislation to help more Americans afford healthcare.”