January 29, 2019

Statement by Retiree Leader Fiesta on the House and Senate Drug Price Hearings

For Immediate Release

The following statement was issued by Richard Fiesta, Executive Director of the Alliance for Retired Americans, regarding the hearings convened by the House Committee on Oversight and Reform and the Senate Finance Committee concerning drug prices on Tuesday:

“We commend Chairmen Elijah Cummings and Chuck Grassley for making the price of prescription drugs a priority of the House Committee on Oversight and Reform and the Senate Finance Committee.

“Medicare Part D’s 20 most prescribed drugs have seen a 12% price increase over the past five years. Americans pay the highest prices for prescription drugs in the world, and Alliance members are all too familiar with this ongoing problem. High drug prices also hurt federal and state budgets.

“Rep. Elijah Cummings has launched one of the most extensive investigations ever into the prescription drug industry’s pricing practices. Sen. Grassley supports importation and ending the “pay for delay” ploy that has benefited drug corporations.

“Prescription drug pricing is a bipartisan issue that the public strongly believes needs to be addressed and it is an area where both chambers may be able to cooperate. In fact, according to a Kaiser Family Foundation poll, eighty percent of Americans surveyed said they think drug prices are too high.

“Retirees also support allowing Medicare to negotiate drug prices and especially actions by legislators to advance the goal of Medicare implementing this change. Drug price negotiation works for the Veterans Administration and Medicaid, saving taxpayers millions each year, and Medicare should do the same on behalf of its 58.4 million beneficiaries.

“Democrats and Republicans need to work together to find out once and for all why drug corporations are increasing prices so dramatically and what steps can be taken to reduce these astronomical costs.”

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Contact: David Blank – 202/637-5275 or dblank@retiredamericans.org

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