A pharmaceutical company recently announced a 5,000 percent price increase in the cost of a drug that treats an infectious disease; while this CEO has committed to lowering the price following a public outcry, the United States spends about 40 percent more per person each year on pharmaceuticals than any other country
Klobuchar leads bills to allow the safe import of prescription drugs from Canada and to crack down on deals that prevent affordable generics from reaching the market
WASHINGTON, DC – In light of recent drastic hikes in prescription drug costs, Senator Amy Klobuchar is calling on Congress to immediately pass legislation that will help lower drug prices for consumers. Turing Pharmaceuticals recently acquired the drug Daraprim, which is used to treat toxoplasmosis, a parasitic infection that is particularly dangerous for people who have weakened immune systems, like AIDS and cancer patients, as well as pregnant women. Turing CEO Martin Shkreli, a former hedge fund manager, immediately increased the price of this life-saving drug more than 5,000 percent, from $13.50 per pill to $750.
While Shkreli has now committed to lowering the price of this drug following a public outcry, the United States spends almost $1,000 per person per year on pharmaceuticals, which is around 40 percent more than the next highest spender, Canada, and more than twice as much as countries like France and Germany spend.
“This recent case of a drug manufacturer single-handedly increasing the price of a life-saving drug to make a quick buck further illuminates the critical problem we have with the cost of prescription drugs in our country,” said Klobuchar. “It is just one more alarming example of why we need to pass legislation to protect consumers from unfair inflation of prescription drug prices, and I am calling on my colleagues in Congress to immediately pass my legislation to help ensure Americans have access to the drugs they need at a price they can afford.”
Klobuchar has been a leader in the Senate on addressing the high cost of prescription drugs, authoring multiple pieces of legislation that would protect American consumers. The Safe and Affordable Drugs from Canada Act would help Americans access safe, affordable prescription drugs from Canada by requiring that the Federal Drug Administration establish a personal importation program that would allow individuals to import a 90-day supply of prescription drugs from an approved Canadian pharmacy.
The Preserve Access to Affordable Generics Act would expand consumers’ access to the cost-saving generic drugs they need, increasing competition and choices for consumers by helping put an end to the practice of brand-name drug manufacturers using anti-competitive pay-off agreements to keep more affordable generic equivalents off the market.
Klobuchar has taken on drug price hikes in the past, including addressing Ovation Pharmaceuticals price-gouging and anti-competitive practices after the company cornered the market on a type of drug used to treat heart conditions in premature infants and increased the price of one of the drugs, Indocin IV, by nearly 1,300 percent, from $108 to $1,500 per unit.