Today House and Senate Democrats outlined a recently released report that exposed the alarming trend of rising prescription drug prices under the Trump administration and called on President Trump to support Democrats' "Better Deal" proposals to lower prescription drug prices. Under the Trump Administration, the 20 most prescribed drugs under Medicare Part D have seen an average annual 12 percent price hike, while 12 of those drugs saw price hikes of over 50 percent, and the remaining six drugs saw price hikes of 100 percent. Despite harsh campaign rhetoric denouncing the pharmaceutical industry, President Trump has done nothing but line the pockets of pharmaceutical company executives through his tax giveaway to the wealthiest Americans and largest corporations while drug prices continued to climb. Five of the largest pharmaceutical companies have invested their savings from the tax windfall on $45 billion dollars in new stock buyback programs to benefit shareholders instead of working to make prescription drugs more affordable for the public. The report also highlights how Trump's failure to act on rising prescription drug prices has left millions of Americans struggling to afford essential medication, endangering both the health and financial well-being of American families.
Specifically, the Democrats' Better Deal proposal to lower prescription drug prices would create a new "price gouging" enforcer to stop outrageous behavior in its tracks, allow Medicare Part D to negotiate drug prices, and require drug manufacturers to publicly release hard data and information justifying any significant price increase.
"America's prescription drug market is broken, forcing hard-working families to pay more and more for life-saving medication as their cost of living surges and their incomes stay stagnant," said Democratic Leader Nancy Pelosi (D-CA). "While Republicans vote to raise families' health costs, sabotage their affordable, quality health care and give massive tax breaks to big pharma, Democrats are offering A Better Deal on Prescription Drug Prices. We have a bold, ambitious plan to lower the soaring cost of prescription drugs, and fight for the children, seniors and working families who are being devastated by this crisis."
"Outrageous prescription drug prices are just another example of how President Trump is failing to deliver on his promises to the American people." said Senate Democratic Leader Chuck Schumer (D-NY). "Time and time again, the Trump administration has prioritized lining the pockets of the biggest corporations and special interests over the needs of average consumers and middle-class families. Americans deserve a better deal when it comes to lowering the cost of prescription drugs, and President Trump should support our plan that would actually lower prescription drug costs for working families and seniors around the country."
"Last year, I joined Rep. Peter Welch at the White House to meet with President Trump about our bill to finally allow the government to negotiate with drug companies for lower drug prices," Congressman Elijah E. Cummings (D-MD) said. "Unfortunately, President Trump ignored us and our proposal has been collecting dust for more than a year. The President has a long history of saying one thing and doing the opposite, but I'll be the first to commend him if he finally endorses this proposal or offers one that is better. The American people are tired of waiting, and now is the time to take real, comprehensive action on this issue so all Americans can afford the medications they desperately need."
"The president has said for over a year and a half that drug companies are "getting away with murder,' but all he's done about it is give them a "get out of jail free' card," U.S. Senator Ron Wyden (D-OR) said. "Trump promised health care for everybody at a lower cost, now families are stuck with high premiums and junk plans. There's no reason to believe real relief will be coming this time from Trump and his Republican allies in Congress."
"There is no wonder drug to stop prescription price gouging," said Congressman Lloyd Doggett (D-TX). "Almost 3 years ago, I formed an Affordable Prescription Drug Task Force to support continued innovation, while restraining drug makers with government-approved monopolies from charging monopoly prices--whatever the sick or dying will pay for relief. We've watched President Trump say many of the right things about spiraling costs, but take none of the right actions, while entrusting his agenda to the very people previously responsible for spiking prices. We need a better deal by negotiating reasonable prices and insisting on transparency for excessive increases."
"During the campaign, candidate Trump told us that the prescription drug companies were "getting away with murder' and he was right. But as President, Trump has not done a single thing to lower the price of prescription drugs," U.S. Senator Bernie Sanders (I-VT) said. "I say to President Trump: Talk is cheap. If you are serious about lowering drug prices, allow Medicare to negotiate prescription drug prices and stop providing tax breaks to big drug companies that are ripping off the American people."
"The skyrocketing costs of prescription drugs are forcing millions of American families to make impossible choices every day," Congresswoman Jan Schakowsky (D-IL) said. "No one in this country should have to decide between putting food on the table and paying for the life-saving medications their children need. But pharmaceutical corporations will keep raising their prices for one simple reason: because they can! We need to face this crisis head-on. Lukewarm, PhRMA-friendly approaches just won't work. We need President Trump to do much more than just "check the box' of appearing to take action on prescription drug prices. Failing to take truly meaningful action could mean the difference between life and death."
"It's long past time to take action to bring down skyrocketing prescription drug prices. We have put solutions on the table--most of which have bipartisan support--that we could pass immediately to give the American people a better deal. We must make prescription drugs more affordable for all Americans by lifting the ban on Medicare negotiating prices directly with drug companies on behalf of the 41 million seniors in the Part D program and stopping anticompetitive tactics--like brand-name companies denying generic companies access to samples or using "pay-for-delay' deals to keep their generic competitors out of the market. Americans are waiting, there is no time to waste" said U.S. Senator Amy Klobuchar (D-MN).
"Drug companies make pain-relieving and life-extending drugs, but their rip-off pricing is killing us," said Congressman Peter Welch (D-VT). "Too often the price is so prohibitively high as to make the drug unaffordable. Congress must provide the authority to intervene to stop unjustified price spikes."