March 29, 2018 (U.S. Senator Stabenow’s Office) – U.S. Senator Debbie Stabenow (D-MI) unveiled new legislation aimed at lowering the cost of prescription drugs during events across the state in Detroit, Flint, Lansing, and Grand Rapids. Americans pay – by far – the highest prices in the world for prescription drugs. Prices for the most popular brand-name drugs have risen 208% from 2008 to 2016, according to AARP.
“I continue to stand up to the drug lobbyists and special interests because it is morally wrong to keep prices for your medications so high,” said Senator Stabenow. “The passage of my legislation would make a major difference for Michigan families.”
Pharmaceutial and health product lobbying reached $279 million last year, more than any other industry. Stabenow is announcing three pieces of legislation that will combat rising prescription drug costs:
- The bipartisan Know the Lowest Price Act (S.2553) cracks down on outrageous gag clauses that stop pharmacists from telling customers that they could pay less for their prescription if they pay out of pocket.
- The Empowering Medicare Seniors to Negotiate Drug Prices Act (S.1688) would allow the Secretary of Health and Human Services to directly negotiate with drug companies for price discounts of their drugs, which is banned under current law.
- And the Affordable and Safe Prescription Drug Importation Act (S. 469) authorizes the Secretary of Health and Human Services to issue regulations permitting wholesalers, licensed U.S. pharmacies, and individuals to import drugs from licensed Canadian sellers that are manufactured at facilities inspected by the Food and Drug Administration. Currently, Americans pay about 40 percent more on prescriptions per person than Canadians do.
More details on Senator Stabenow’s prescription drugs legislation may be found here.
“As a doctor who has treated patients across West Michigan, I know the high cost of prescription drugs is a huge problem,” said Dr. Thomas Platt, Cherry Health’s Chief Medical Officer and provider at Cherry Health’s Heart of the City Adult Medicine and Durham Clinic. “We need to make sure patients can actually afford the life-saving medication they need. I want to thank Senator Stabenow for her legislation that will help lower the cost for seniors and families.”