WASHINGTON – Over the weekend, U.S. Senator Amy Klobuchar (D-MN) joined health care advocates and Protect Our Care for a virtual roundtable to call for measures to lower prescription drug costs in the Build Back Better Act.
“We're in this fight because too many Americans are struggling to access their medications,” said Klobuchar. “It is much more expensive to get prescription drugs in our country than in other industrialized countries, even though it's our taxpayers that have funded so much of the research. It's common sense policy.”
Klobuchar has long been a leader in the fight to lower prescription drug costs. In March, she led 33 cosponsors in reintroducing her bicameral Empowering Medicare Seniors to Negotiate Drug Prices Act, which would allow Medicare to negotiate the best price of prescription drugs for seniors enrolled in Medicare Part D.
“The fight is not over to stand up to Big Pharma and put patients over profits,” said Protect Our Care Chair Leslie Dach. “It is unconscionable that millions of families are forced to choose between the medications they need to survive and paying for other necessities like food or rent. We must meet this moment and deliver on the needs of families nationwide by giving Medicare the power to negotiate for lower drug prices.”
“I suffer from systemic lupus. In order to keep it under control, you need medications. There was one medication that was $3,000 a month, I cannot afford it. And when you're on a fixed income, it blows your budget,” said patient Beatriz Morrison. “There's a lot of people out there in my neighborhood, in our country, that have to forego medications -- it just isn't right.”
“I'm a community pharmacist in Teaneck, New Jersey, and every single day in my practice, customers come to me complaining about the cost of prescription drug prices,” said Michael Fedida, community pharmacist and pharmacy owner. “The 1500 lobbyists that are in Washington seem to have much more power than the entire Senate and Congress. It's just so frustrating that it's become a game of just money. People don't seem to care about people's lives and the quality of life that people are entitled to in this country.”
“I've been a nurse for 37 years, 12 of those years I've worked with the high-risk epilepsy population, who often need three to four medications to remain with controlled seizures. I had the heart-wrenching experience of losing a patient who was 26 years old. Like many patients, Jay was unable to afford medication to treat his seizures, and it left him with nowhere to turn,” said Rachelle Compton, a nurse. “It just doesn't make any sense to me that this is allowed in America. People's lives are actually lost due to the pharmaceutical situation that we have here. It's maddening and it's really sad.”
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