Home > Issues > Prescription Drug Prices

Prescription Drug Prices

In 2015, nearly one in five Americans between the ages of 19 and 64 – 35 million people – did not get their prescriptions filled because they did not have enough money. In the wealthiest country in the history of the world, Americans should not have to live in fear that they will go bankrupt or die because they cannot afford to take the medication they need. I will push for the following policies as your Representative:

  • Require Medicare to use its bargaining power to negotiate with the prescription drug companies for better prices, which would substantially reduce prices seniors and people with disabilities pay for drugs, as well as saving Medicare between $230 billion to $541 billion dollars over the next decade. 83 percent of Americans support allowing the federal government to negotiate with drug companies for better prices.
  • Allow individuals, pharmacists, and wholesalers to import prescription drugs from licensed Canadian pharmacies.
  • Prohibit the United States from agreeing to provisions in international trade deals that would raise drug prices or extend the monopoly period when a brand name drug company has no generic competition.
  • Suspend the government’s authority to destroy packages of imported drugs at the border until new legislation is passed ensuring that Americans can import safe and affordable drugs from Canada.
  • Require generic drug companies to pay an additional rebate to Medicaid if their drug prices rise faster than inflation. Nearly 10 percent of generic drugs more than doubled in price last year. According to the nonpartisan Congressional Budget Office, this policy will save the federal government $1 billion over 10 years.
  • Restore Medicare prescription drug discounts for low-income seniors and people with disabilities. Pharmaceutical companies got a huge victory ten years ago, when prescription drug coverage for low-income seniors and people with disabilities was moved from Medicaid to Medicare. Because Medicaid gets a much better price for prescription drugs than private Medicare Part D plans, this policy change meant that drug companies would gain even larger profits on the backs of low-income seniors at the taxpayers’ expense.
  • Prohibit anti-competitive “pay for delay” deals between brand and generic drug makers. Brand name drug companies sometimes try to delay their competition by paying generic drug makers to stay off the market, and then keep prices higher in the absence of competitors. According to the Federal Trade Commission, these deals cost taxpayers at least $3.5 billion in higher drug costs every year.
  • Terminate exclusivity—a government-awarded monopoly period—from drug companies convicted of fraud. Today, nearly every major pharmaceutical company has been convicted of either civil or criminal fraud for violations such as off-label promotion, kickbacks, anti-monopoly practices, or Medicare fraud. Even though the Justice Department has won suits requiring companies to pay hundreds of millions of dollars in fines, the prescription drug companies simply treat those fines as the cost of doing business.
  • Require drug companies to publicly report any information that affects drug pricing.