BREAKING: REAX From Appropriations Vice Chair Patrick Leahy To The President’s Drug Pricing Announcement

“The President has made some bold promises about reducing the price of prescription drugs, but unfortunately we’ve seen little in the way of action.  Today’s announcement was more of the same – a flurry of soothing words and wheel spinning, and no willingness or courage to take on price gouging and anti-competitive behavior by the giant drug firms.  Incredibly, he again passed up the opportunity to support our bipartisan CREATES Act, which truly would cut prescription drug costs.  The Congressional Budget Office says the CREATES Act reforms would cut government costs by $3.8 billion, and it would save consumers many billions more.  Our prescription drug pricing system is broken, and a hodgepodge of the regulatory changes the President has in mind will do little to bring down the costs of prescription medicines. 

“The President should work with Congress to endorse and enact meaningful reforms, such as allowing Medicare to negotiate drug prices, which he has given lip service to in the past.  And the best way to lower the price of prescription drugs is to truly, meaningfully increase competition.  While the President is right to call out the anticompetitive behavior of some brand name companies that keeps generic competitors off the market, regulations alone will not solve this problem.  Passing my CREATES Act would.  Many efforts to reduce drug costs are partisan, but the CREATES Act enjoys equal support from Democrats and Republicans.  A simple word of support today from the President would have added even more momentum.  Once again, he missed – or ducked – that opportunity.  An issue this important to the health and to the pocketbooks of every American family needs real solutions and not just more talk, more gear shifting and more handwringing.”

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