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New bill would hold drug companies accountable for high prices, bring down costs for seniors, families and taxpayers
WASHINGTON, D.C. – U.S. Senator Tammy Baldwin, a member of the Senate Health, Education, Labor and Pensions (HELP) Committee, cosponsored legislation, led by Senator Tina Smith (D-MN), to hold pharmaceutical companies accountable for high drug prices and bring down costs for both consumers and taxpayers.
“I’ve heard from countless Wisconsinites who continue to see skyrocketing drug prices. They are struggling to afford their prescriptions that they have relied on for years and they need Washington to act,” said Senator Baldwin. “This broad reform will hold drug companies accountable when they jack up prescription drug prices, allow Medicare to bargain for lower prices, and provide much-needed relief for Wisconsin families and patients in need of affordable, lifesaving treatments.”
“The number one issue I hear about from Minnesotans is the cost of health care, and specifically the cost of prescription drugs,” said Senator Smith. “High prescription drug prices are forcing too many families to choose between the medications they need and other necessities, like groceries or rent. I’ve heard firsthand about Minnesotans who couldn’t afford to fill a prescription because it was too expensive, and met with families who have suffered the most tragic of results. It’s time we address this problem that has hurt far too many people in Minnesota and across the country for far too long.”
The Affordable Medications Act is a comprehensive set of reforms that will help lower prices by:
- Increasing transparency, holding pharmaceutical companies accountable for their role in setting high prices;
- Increasing affordability by allowing Medicare to use its buying power to negotiate lower prices; penalizing drug companies that dramatically raise prices; and allowing for the safe importation of cheaper drugs from other countries, like Canada;
- Spurring innovation by creating a prize fund for new antibiotics and supporting clinical trials for new drugs; and
- Protecting competition by blocking unfair and anticompetitive drug monopoly practices and helping more generic competitors come to market.
In addition to Senator Baldwin, the legislation is cosponsored by Senators Amy Klobuchar (D-MN), Richard Blumenthal (D-CT), Tom Udall (D-NM), Sherrod Brown (D-OH), Elizabeth Warren (D-MA), Bernie Sanders (D-VT), Maggie Hassan (D-NH), Sheldon Whitehouse (D-RI), Jeff Merkley (D-OR), Jack Reed (D-RI), Cory Booker (D-NJ), Richard Durbin (D-IL) and Kirsten Gillibrand (D-NY).
The text of the legislation is available here.
An online version of this release is available here.