WASHINGTON, DC and SAN DIEGO – December 12, 2019 – The House of Representatives today passed historic legislation championed by House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) that would allow government negotiation of prescription drugs that lack competition and account for the greatest total cost to Medicare and the entire U.S. healthcare system. The following is a statement from Shelley Lyford, president and CEO of the Gary and Mary West Health Institute:
We commend Speaker Pelosi and House Democrats for passing long-overdue legislation to meaningfully address the burden of high drug prices for Americans. This is a defining moment in the future of America’s healthcare. Speaker Pelosi’s plan would finally force drug makers to negotiate in good faith with the U.S. government as they already must in other developed nations.
For too long, our government has been powerless and without leverage to force the pharmaceutical industry to lower its prices, even in situations of clear price gouging. Patients are left holding the bag, with nearly 58 million American adults unable to afford needed prescription medications in the past year, as revealed in a recent West Health-Gallup poll and cited by Speaker Pelosi before today’s House floor vote. Meanwhile, drug companies’ CEO salaries and profits soar.
This legislative action is a great start to ensure seniors and all Americans can access lifesaving drugs. We encourage the Senate to pass this long-overdue policy.
About West Health
Solely funded by philanthropists Gary and Mary West, West Health is a family of nonprofit and nonpartisan organizations including the Gary and Mary West Foundation and Gary and Mary West Health Institute in San Diego, and the Gary and Mary West Health Policy Center in Washington, D.C. West Health is dedicated to lowering healthcare costs to enable seniors to successfully age in place with access to high-quality, affordable health and support services that preserve and protect their dignity, quality of life and independence. Learn more at westhealth.org and healthcostcrisis.org, and follow @westhealth.
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