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Congressman Steven Horsford Leads the Congressional Black Caucus in Announcing Legislation to Lower Drug Prices with House Speaker Nancy Pelosi

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Washington, September 19, 2019 | comments

Today, under Congressman Steven Horsford (NV-04) leadership, the Congressional Black Caucus joined Speaker Nancy Pelosi to announce the Lower Prescription Drug Costs Now Act (H.R. 3), designed to reduce drug prices for Americans across the country and stop pharmaceutical companies from hiking up the costs of necessary and life-saving medications. 

Across America, seniors and families are struggling to afford the prescription drugs they need to stay healthy. Three in ten of all adults reported not taking their medication as prescribed at some point in the past year because of the cost.

“Time and time again, I hear from folks in my district who are faced with the growing cost of their medication. Prescription drug costs are sky high and people across the country are hurting,” Congressman Horsford said. “These high drug prices are forcing Nevadans to have to choose between refilling a medication and paying their gas bill or being able to eat every day. That is unacceptable. No one should be skipping pills so they can stretch their medication out a bit further.”

Adjusting for inflation, in 1960 an average American family spent roughly $90 per year on prescription drugs, according to the Kaiser Family Foundation. Today, the same American family would spend roughly $1,200. 

Yet, prescription drug companies continue to hike prices without any limit—charging Americans prices that are vastly higher than what they charge for the same drug in other countries, and subjecting the U.S. to unjustified annual price hikes far above the rate of inflation.

With the Lower Drug Costs Now Act, House Democrats are taking bold action to level the playing field for American patients and taxpayers. This bill:

  • Ends the ban on Medicare negotiating directly with the drug companies, and creates powerful new tools to force drug companies to the table to agree to real price reductions, while ensuring seniors never lose access to the prescriptions they need.
  • Makes the lower drug prices negotiated by Medicare available to all Americans, including those with private insurance, not just Medicare beneficiaries.
  • Stops drug companies ripping off Americans while charging other countries less for the same drugs, limiting the maximum price for any negotiated drug to be in line with the average price in countries like ours, where drug companies charge less for the same drugs – and admit they still make a profit.
  • Creates a new, $2,000 out-of-pocket limit on prescription drug costs for Medicare beneficiaries, and reverses years of unfair price hikes above inflation across more than 8,000 drugs in Medicare.
  • Reinvests in innovation and the search for new cures and treatments, using some of the savings from lowering the unjustified drug prices that are bankrolling Big Pharma’s stock-buybacks to reinvest billions of dollars in the search for new breakthrough treatments and cures at NIH. 

Lowering prescription drug prices remains Congressman Horsford’s top legislative priority. His bill, the SPIKE Act, bipartisan legislation to stop pharmaceutical industry price gouging by requiring them to justify their large price hikes. That legislation passed the House Ways & Means Committee on a unanimous, bipartisan vote of 40-0.

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