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Statement from Rep. Peter DeFazio on H.R. 3, the Elijah E. Cummings Lower Drug Costs Now Act

Dec 12, 2019
Press Release

Rep. Peter DeFazio (OR-04) today released the following statement on his vote in support of H.R. 3, the Elijah E. Cummings Lower Drug Costs Now Act:

Because of pharmaceutical companies’ price gouging, Americans pay more out-of-pocket for prescription drugs than individuals in any other country. It’s beyond time for Congress to enact important reforms to deliver immediate relief.

That’s why today I voted for H.R. 3, the Elijah E. Cummings Lower Drug Costs Now Act. I believe this legislation takes some important first steps towards lowering the cost of prescription drugs and improving the health and financial security of American seniors and families.

Among other things, H.R. 3 will cap the out-of-pocket limit for prescription drugs at $2,000, set a minimum for the number of drugs that must be negotiated per year, combat pharmaceutical price-gouging for upwards of 150 million Americans with private health care plans, and expand Medicare to cover vision, dental, and hearing for the first time.

While H.R. 3 will ultimately improve the health and financial security of millions of American seniors and families, I believe Congress can and must do more to combat rising drug prices and price-gouging pharmaceutical companies.

Right now, pharmaceutical companies charge outrageous prices because there is no adequate law to prevent drug companies from reaping massive profits with drugs developed on the taxpayer’s dime.

I’ve repeatedly introduced legislation that would close this ridiculous loophole and end price-gouging on prescription drugs developed by taxpayer-funded research. Americans should not pay to develop a drug only to see it put on the shelves in the U.S. at a much higher price than other nations.

I will continue to push for this and other commonsense legislation to help put an end to the worst abuses of pharmaceutical companies and drive drug prices down for Americans.