September 05, 2018

Senator Hassan Joins in Introducing Comprehensive Bill To Address Skyrocketing Cost of Prescription Drugs

WASHINGTON – Senator Maggie Hassan today joined Senator Tina Smith (D-MN) and a number of her colleagues in introducing comprehensive legislation to address the skyrocketing cost of prescription drugs that are weighing down far too many hard-working Granite Staters and Americans. The Affordable Medications Act will help hold large pharmaceutical companies accountable for high prices and bring down costs for both consumers and taxpayers by allowing Medicare to negotiate the price of prescription drugs, permitting the safe importation of affordable prescription drugs from places like Canada, ending the senseless tax breaks for drug companies that allow them to take tax deductions on the billions of dollars they spend on advertising, and more.

“Far too many Granite Staters and Americans are forced to make the impossible choice between putting food on the table for their families or filling a potentially life-saving prescription, and it is long past time for Congress to take real action to lower the skyrocketing costs of prescription drugs,” Senator Hassan said. “This comprehensive bill includes bold steps to hold pharmaceutical companies accountable and ensure that all Americans can afford the critical prescription medications that they need to lead healthy, productive lives.”

The legislation also includes a provision authored by Senator Hassan that will help prevent big pharmaceutical companies from gaming the system in order to pay less in drug discounts than they’re required to pay.

“As part of our efforts to protect consumers from the shady practices of some pharmaceutical companies, this legislation also includes a measure I authored to prevent pharmaceutical companies from gaming the system in order to pay out less in the drug discounts that they are supposed to pay under the Medicaid rebate program,” Senator Hassan continued.

The Affordable Medications Act is a comprehensive set of reforms that will help lower prices by:

  • Increasing transparency, holding pharmaceutical companies accountable for their role in setting high prices.
  • Increasing affordability by allowing Medicare to use its buying power to negotiate lower prices; penalizing drug companies that spike drug prices; and allowing for the safe importation of cheaper drugs from other countries, like Canada
  • Spurring innovation by creating a prize fund for new antibiotics and publicly funding clinical trials for new drugs.
  • And protecting competition by blocking unfair and anticompetitive drug monopoly practices and helping more generic competitors come to market.

For a summary of the bill click here.

Senator Hassan joined Senators Tina Smith, (D-MN), Amy Klobuchar (D-MN), Richard Blumenthal (D-CT), Tom Udall (D-NM), Sherrod Brown (D-OH), Elizabeth Warren (D-MA), Bernie Sanders (D-VT), Sheldon Whitehouse (D-RI), Jeff Merkley (D-OR), Jack Reed (D-RI), Tammy Baldwin (D-WI), Cory Booker (D-NJ), Richard Durbin (D-IL), and Kirsten Gillibrand (D-NY).

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