WASHINGTON, D.C.—Today, Rep. Raúl M. Grijalva joined members of the Congressional Progressive Caucus in a letter led by Rep. Jan Schakowsky (D-IL) to submit comments to the Department of Health and Human Services Secretary Alex Azar’s request for information on the Trump Administration’s “Blueprint to Lower Drug Prices and Reduce Out-of-Pocket Costs.”
The members of Congress expressed their dissatisfaction with the plan’s failure to address the role of the pharmaceutical industry in skyrocketing drug prices and outlined five components to improve the plan. These included the need to negotiate prescription prices under Medicare, greater transparency in drug pricing plans, ending patent abuses, allowing the importation of drugs from other countries, and developing fair trade agreements that address affordable prescription drugs.
The letter read in part:
“We are committed to lowering overall health care costs, and prescription spending is a large part of that as it is growing faster than any other part of the health care spending. Prescription drug spending accounts for nearly 20% of all health care costs. One in four Americans reported that they pay more than they did the previous year for their prescription drug. With rising costs, it is no surprise that 1 in 7 Americans do not fill a prescription or take it as directed to save money. As members of Congress, we see the effects of high drug prices every day. Families across the country are struggling to afford the cost of the medications they need. No American should ever struggle to afford their prescriptions. It cannot be ignored and concrete steps must be taken to provide Americans with the relief they need.”
Click here to read the full letter.