WASHINGTON, DC (April 17, 2019) AIDS Healthcare Foundation (AHF) praised the 122 members of the U.S. House of Representatives Wednesday who have signed on as co-sponsors for the most serious piece of legislation tackling drug prices in 2019.
Over half of the majority party in the House have endorsed the Medicare Negotiation and Competitive Licensing Act, H.R. 1046, introduced by Congressman Lloyd Doggett (D-Texas). If passed, the bill would require the U.S. government to negotiate with drug manufacturers who sell to the Medicare Part D drug program. Medicare Part D is a $100 billion market, the largest drug market in the world.
“The drug industry is doing all it can to stop the momentum behind this legislation, which enjoys the support from nine out of ten Americans and a majority of the Democrats in the House,” said Michael Weinstein, president of AIDS Healthcare Foundation.
H.R. 1046 and its companion in the U.S. Senate, S. 377 by U.S. Senator Sherrod Brown (D-Ohio), would repeal the prohibition on the government using its bulk purchasing power for the $100 billion it spends each year on prescription drugs for Medicare Part D. Recent reports from Politico reveal that drug companies are pouring money into the campaigns of the legislators who will determine the fate of this legislation.
“Big drug companies are pulling out all the stops with deceptive tactics claiming the bill would stop innovation,” said John Hassell, AHF’s National Director of Advocacy. In fact, the legislation would allow compensation based on costs of research and development and the health benefits of medicine establishing a reasonable royalty to ensure an adequate return and protect incentives for innovation. The development of new drugs is already heavily subsidized by the very taxpayers who are stuck with the drug industry’s high drug prices. The industry relies on public funding, from the National Institutes of Health, for innovation with every one of the 210 new drugs approved by the Food and Drug Administration from 2010 to 2016.
AHF calls on every voter who cares about high drug prices to take action now. Voters can contact their members of Congress in the House and Senate by calling 202-224-3121 and ask them to support H.R. 1046 and S. 377.
AHF previous statements on US drug pricing legislation: