Rocky Gap, Va.—Last week Speaker Nancy Pelosi introduced a new proposal to curb prescription drug prices through negotiations, new penalties for non-compliant drug companies, and international price indexing. Virginia Organizing, a non-partisan grassroots organization with 15 chapters across the Commonwealth, released the following statement in response to the H.R. 3 announcement:
“We’ve heard a lot of promises from politicians over the past few years about lowering drug prices,” said Denise Smith of Pennington Gap, a member of Virginia Organizing’s Statewide Governing Board, “but so far there’s been very little action to accomplish that. People are dying in Virginia because they cannot afford their medication. My son’s infusion for his condition costs $18,000 per treatment.
“Speaker Pelosi’s bill is a major step in the right direction. It would require prescription drug manufacturers to negotiate drug prices with government or pay a penalty. The proposal also levels the cost of medicines between the United States and other countries, where people pay much less for the same drugs. Drug companies would have to pay back money they priced far above inflation rates, gouging patients and insurers. Money collected from the ‘inflation rebate’ and penalties for price-gouging would be reinvested in National Institutes of Health research and development and in expanding services in Medicare.
“While it doesn’t solve every problem, this bill is great news for millions of people in the Commonwealth and around the country who struggle to afford medicine because the drug corporations have kept prices high and put medicine out of reach for patients. We hope all the members of the Virginia delegation will stand up in support of this critical first step.”
To ask questions or arrange an interview with Denise Smith, please contact Rosemary Gould at firstname.lastname@example.org or 434-962-7261.