FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
May 5, 2021
CONTACT: Kathy Melley, (617) 791-0708
(BOSTON, MA) –– High drug prices are a top concern for people across America. One in four persons taking a prescription drug reported skipping doses or cutting pills in half due to affordability issues. In response to public demand, today the House Subcommittee on Health, Education, Labor and Pensions, chaired by Rep. Mark DeSaulnier (D-CA), is holding a legislative hearing entitled, “Lower Drug Costs Now: Expanding Access to Affordable Health Care.” The hearing includes H.R. 3, the Elijah E. Cummings Lower Drug Costs Now Act, sponsored by Rep. Frank Pallone (D-NJ), which seeks to lower drugs for consumers by empowering Medicare to negotiate drug prices. The bill has the potential to lower people’s prescription drug and out-of-pocket costs. The Congressional Budget Office estimates the bill would save the U.S. government $500 billion over 10 years. Those savings are urgently needed to address other critical health needs, including improving equitable access to affordable, high-quality health coverage.
Statement of Emily Stewart, executive director of Community Catalyst regarding today’s House hearing on lowering the cost of prescription drug prices:
“People across the U.S are getting squeezed by the spiraling cost of prescription drugs, forcing too many to make impossible choices between paying for the medications they need to stay healthy and meeting basic needs. High prescription drug prices disproportionately affect older adults, low-income people and people of color, who face unfair and discriminatory barriers to health and health care. This puts them at greater risk of chronic conditions such as asthma, diabetes and heart disease, chronic conditions that must be managed with medication. Prescription drug affordability is important to all people’s health and economic security, and people across party lines want Congress to address it.
“We urge Congress to advance legislation, such as the Elijah E. Cummings Lower Drug Costs Now Act, that will drive down prescription drug prices and make health care more affordable and accessible.”
About Community Catalyst: Community Catalyst is a leading non-profit national health advocacy organization dedicated to advancing a movement for health equity and justice. We partner with local, state, and national advocates to leverage community power so all people can influence decisions that affect their health. Health systems will not be accountable to people without a fully engaged and organized community voice. That’s why we work every day to ensure people’s interests are represented wherever important decisions about health and health care are made: in communities, state houses and on Capitol Hill. For more information, visit http://www.communitycatalyst.org. Follow us on Twitter @CommCatHealth.